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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 176-181

17-β-Estradiol Upregulates the Stress Response in Candida albicans: Implications for Microbial Virulence

1Department of Biology, Drake University, Des Moines, IA, USA
2University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, 3200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312, USA

Received 1 June 1998; Accepted 17 August 1998

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective: The influence of 17-β-estradiol on the stress response of Candida albicans was studied.

Methods: The survival of clinical isolates of C. albicans treated with 17-β-estradiol after heat and oxidative stress was measured by viable plate counts. Cellular proteins were analyzed via SDSPAGE.

Results: The heat stress response induced by 17-β-estradiol in C. albicans grown at 25 ℃ protected the organisms against the lethal temperature of 48.5 ℃, as shown by viable plate counts. 17-β-estradiol also enhanced protection of C. albicans against oxidative stress (menadione exposure). SDS-PAGE analysis of cytoplasmic extracts revealed proteins induced by 17-β-estradiol were similar to those induced by heat.

Conclusion: 17-β-estradiol enhances survival of C. albicans under heat and oxidative stresses. The proteins induced by 17-β-estradiol are probably heat shock proteins. Because heat shock proteins are considered to be virulence factors, 17-β-estradiol may function to promote in vivo survival.