Naftifine, an antifungal drug, inhibits pigmentation in Rhodotorula mucilaginosa. However, the relative mechanism is minutely understood. In this study, regulation of gene expression by naftifine was investigated to elucidate mechanism of yeast de-pigmentation. RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) was used to screen differentially expressed genes (DEGs), followed by quantitative PCR (qPCR). The qPCR results showed that mRNA expression of phytoene desaturase gene CAR1 was reduced to 37% of its original level, after one day’s naftifine treatment. Since CAR1 acts at the immediate upstream of carotenoid biosynthesis pathway, it was concluded that naftifine involves in the process to inhibit the activity of phytoene desaturase, and that the down-regulation of gene CAR1 by naftifine contributes to de-pigmentation in R. mucilaginosa.
Key word: Naftifine, carotenoid, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, phytoene desaturase.