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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)
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)
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)
Ricin inhibits protein synthesis by depurinating the α-sarcin/ricin loop (SRL). Ricin holotoxin does not inhibit translation unless the disulfide bond between the A (RTA) and B (RTB) subunits is reduced. Ricin holotoxin did not bind ribosomes or depurinate them but could depurinate free RNA. When RTA is separated from RTB, arginine residues located at the(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)
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)
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)
The recently described species Aspergillus lentulus exhibits differential and reduced susceptibilities to echinocandins and other antifungal drugs in vitro. A. lentulus isolates overall are less susceptible to caspofungin, although they maintain susceptibility to anidulafungin and micafungin. Mutations or polymorphisms in fks, the gene encoding the(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)
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)