Down-expression of the HWP1 Gene in Candida albicans Induced by the Ethanolic Extract of Propolis

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Food Hygiene, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of microbiology and immunology, faculty of veterinary medicine, university of Tehran, Azadi Street, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of pathobiology, School of Veterinary, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Candida albicans is an aggressive pathogen and the main etiologic agent in the genus Candida, accounting for 42.5% of infections. The existence of hyphal form along with adherence is critical to colonize mucosal surfaces and cause infection. Adherence of C. albicans to host tissue is crucial to colonize cells; therefore, these microorganisms use proteins named adhesins. HWP1, a protein associated with adhesins, serves as a substrate for mammalian transglutaminases and plays an important role in adherence to epithelial cells. Due to the emergence of antifungal drug resistance, the present study aimed at determining the effect of propolis ethanolic extract (a natural product with antifungal properties) on the HWP1 gene expression in clinically isolated C. albicans strains. The HWP1 gene expression was analyzed using real-time PCR, and HWP1 expression was normalized against the ACT1 housekeeping gene. After the treatment of clinical samples with propolis ethanolic extract, the relative level of HWP1 gene expression was 0.88, 0.53, 0.21, and 0.66% for the standard strain, and those isolated from the oral cavity, nail, and vaginal cavity, respectively. The decrease in HWP1 expression might affect C. albicans virulence, and propolis ethanolic extract might be used as an alternative remedy for antifungal drugs