Jennifer Nielsen Kahn

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An association between reduced susceptibility to echinocandins and changes in the 1,3-beta-d-glucan synthase (GS) subunit Fks1p was investigated. Specific mutations in fks1 genes from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans mutants are described that are necessary and sufficient for reduced susceptibility to the echinocandin drug caspofungin. One(More)
Natural products provide an unparalleled source of chemical scaffolds with diverse biological activities and have profoundly impacted antimicrobial drug discovery. To further explore the full potential of their chemical diversity, we survey natural products for antifungal, target-specific inhibitors by using a chemical-genetic approach adapted to the human(More)
The echinocandin caspofungin is a potent inhibitor of the activity of 1,3-beta-D-glucan synthase from Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terreus, and Aspergillus nidulans. In murine models of disseminated infection, caspofungin prolonged survival and reduced the kidney fungal burden. Caspofungin was at least as effective as amphotericin B against these(More)
Caspofungin inhibits synthesis of beta-D-1,3 glucan, essential to cell walls in Candida and Aspergillus spp., but activity against less common molds is largely uncharacterized. We demonstrate that caspofungin inhibits beta-D-1,3 glucan synthesis and reduces in vitro growth of clinical isolates from the genera Alternaria, Curvularia, Scedosporium,(More)
Shiga-like toxins and ricin are ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) that are lethal to mammals and pose a global health threat. No clinical vaccines or therapeutics currently exist to protect against these RIPs. Two small molecules (Retro-1 and Retro-2) were discovered with high-throughput screening and reported for their protection of cells against RIPs.(More)
In a whole-cell mechanism of action (MOA)-based screening strategy for discovery of antifungal agents, Candida albicans was used, followed by testing of active extracts in the C. albicans fitness test (CaFT), which provides insight into the mechanism of action. A fermentation extract of an undescribed species of Metulocladosporiella that inhibited(More)
A Candida krusei strain from a patient with acute myelogenous leukemia that displayed reduced susceptibility to echinocandin drugs contained a heterozygous mutation, T2080K, in FKS1. The resulting Phe655-->Cys substitution altered the sensitivity of glucan synthase to echinocandin drugs, consistent with a common mechanism for echinocandin resistance in(More)
Sordarins are a class of natural antifungal agents which act by specifically inhibiting fungal protein synthesis through their interaction with the elongation factor 2, EF2. A number of natural sordarins produced by diverse fungi of different classes have been reported in the literature. We have run an exhaustive search of sordarin-producing fungi using two(More)
Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are toxic because they bind to 28S rRNA and depurinate a specific adenine residue from the α-sarcin/ricin loop (SRL), thereby inhibiting protein synthesis. Shiga-like toxins (Stx1 and Stx2), produced by Escherichia coli, are RIPs that cause outbreaks of foodborne diseases with significant morbidity and mortality. Ricin,(More)
Orally bioavailable inhibitors of β-(1,3)-D-glucan synthase have been pursued as new, broad-spectrum fungicidal therapies suitable for treatment in immunocompromised patients. Toward this end, a collaborative medicinal chemistry program was established based on semisynthetic derivatization of the triterpenoid glycoside natural product enfumafungin in order(More)