Membrane of Candida albicans as a target of berberineReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

, 17:268

Basic research


BackgroundWe investigated the mechanisms of anti-Candida action of isoquinoline alkaloid berberine, active constituent of medically important plants of Barberry species.

MethodsThe effects on membrane, morphological transition, synthesis of ergosterol and the consequent changes in membrane permeability have been studied. Polarization and lipid peroxidation level of the membrane following berberine treatment have been addressed.

ResultsMinimal inhibitory concentration MIC of berberine against C. albicans was 17.75 μg-mL. Cytotoxic effect of berberine was concentration dependent, and in sub-MIC concentrations inhibit morphological transition of C. albicans cells to its filamentous form. Results showed that berberine affects synthesis of membrane ergosterol dose-dependently and induces increased membrane permeability causing loss of intracellular material to the outer space DNA-protein leakage. Berberine also caused membrane depolarization and lipid peroxidation of membrane constituents indicating its direct effect on the membrane. Moreover, ROS levels were also increased following berberine treatment indicating further the possibility of membrane damage.

ConclusionBased on the obtained results it seems that berberine achieves its anti-Candida activity by affecting the cell membrane.

KeywordsBerberine Candida albicans Antifungal Membrane AbbreviationsATCCAmerican type culture collection

BCABicinchoninic acid

CFUColony-forming unit

DCFDA2′,7′-Dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate


DiBAC4Bis-1,3-Dibarbituric acid-trimethine oxanol

DNADeoxyribonucleic acid

EDTAEthylenediaminetetraacetic acid

EUCASTEuropean committee on antimicrobial susceptibility testing

FBSFetal bovine serum

HEPES4-2-hydroxyethyl-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid



MICMinimum inhibitory concentration

MRSAMethicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


PBSPhosphate-buffered saline

PMSFphenylmethylsulphonyl fluoride

ROSReactive oxygen species

RPMIRoswell park memorial institute

SODSuperoxide dismutase

TBARSThiobarbituric acid reactive species

TCATrichloroacetic acid

XTT2,3-Bis-2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl-2H–tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide salt

YPDYeast potato dextrose

Autor: Nataša Zorić - Ivan Kosalec - Siniša Tomić - Ivan Bobnjarić - Mario Jug - Toni Vlainić - Josipa Vlainić


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