Effects of Hsp90 Inhibitor Ganetespib on Inhibition of Azole-Resistant Candida albicans.
ABSTRACT: Candida albicans is the most common fungal pathogen. Recently, drug resistance of C. albicans is increasingly severe. Hsp90 is a promising antifungal target to overcome this problem. To evaluate the effects of Hsp90 inhibitor ganetespib on the inhibition of azole-resistant C. albicans, the microdilution checkerboard method was used to measure the in vitro synergistic efficacy of ganetespib. The XTT/menadione reduction assay, microscopic observation, and Rh6G efflux assay were established to investigate the effects of ganetespib on azole-resistant C. albicans biofilm formation, filamentation, and efflux pump. Real-time RT-PCR analysis was employed to clarify the mechanism of antagonizing drug resistance. The in vivo antifungal efficacy of ganetespib was determined by the infectious model of azole-resistant C. albicans. Ganetespib showed an excellent synergistic antifungal activity in vitro and significantly inhibited the fungal biofilm formation, whereas it had no inhibitory effect on fungal hypha formation. Expression of azole-targeting enzyme gene ERG11 and efflux pump genes CDR1, CDR2, and MDR1 was significantly down-regulated when ganetespib was used in combination with FLC. In a mouse model infected with FLC-resistant C. albicans, the combination of ganetespib and FLC effectively reversed the FLC resistance and significantly decreased the kidney fungal load of mouse.
Project description:It was found in our previous study that berberine (BBR) and fluconazole (FLC) used concomitantly exhibited a synergism against FLC-resistant Candida albicans in vitro. The aim of the present study was to clarify how BBR and FLC worked synergistically and the underlying mechanism. Antifungal time-kill curves indicated that the synergistic effect of the two drugs was BBR dose dependent rather than FLC dose dependent. In addition, we found that BBR accumulated in C. albicans cells, especially in the nucleus, and resulted in cell cycle arrest and significant change in the transcription of cell cycle-related genes. Besides BBR, other DNA intercalators, including methylene blue, sanguinarine, and acridine orange, were all found to synergize with FLC against FLC-resistant C. albicans. Detection of intracellular BBR accumulation by fluorescence measurement showed that FLC played a role in increasing intracellular BBR concentration, probably due to its effect in disrupting the fungal cell membrane. Similar to the case with FLC, other antifungal agents acting on the cell membrane were able to synergize with BBR. Interestingly, we found that the efflux of intracellular BBR was FLC independent but strongly glucose dependent and associated with the drug efflux pump Cdr2p. These results suggest that BBR plays a major antifungal role in the synergism of FLC and BBR, while FLC plays a role in increasing the intracellular BBR concentration.
Project description:The occurrence of invasive fungal diseases, particularly in immunocompromised patients, is life-threatening and increases the economic burden. The rising problem of multi-drug resistance is becoming a major concern for clinicians. In addition, a repertoire of antifungal agents is far less in number than antibacterial drugs. To combat these problems, combination therapy has gained a lot of interest. We previously reported the synergistic interaction of some mono- and bis-dihydropyrimidinone and thione derivatives with fluconazole and amphotericin B for combination antifungal therapy. In this study we used the same approach and synthesized different azole and non-azole derivatives of mono-(M) and bis-(B) chalcones and evaluated their antifungal activity profile alone and in combination with the most commonly used antifungal drug - fluconazole (FLC) - against seven FLC susceptible and three FLC resistant clinically isolated Candida albicans strains. Based on the minimum inhibitory concentration results, the bis-derivatives showed lower MIC values compared to their mono-analogues. Both fractional inhibitory concentration index and isobologram results revealed mostly synergistic, additive or indifferent interactions between the tested compounds and FLC against different Candida isolates. None of the tested compounds showed any effect on energy dependent R6G efflux, revealing that they do not reverse the mechanism of drug efflux. However, surprisingly, these compounds profoundly decreased ergosterol biosynthesis and showed down regulation of ERG11 gene expression, which is the possible mechanism of reversal of azole drug resistance by these compounds. These results provide a platform for further research to develop pyrimidinone/thione ring containing compounds as promising new antifungal agents, which could be used in antifungal combination therapy.
Project description:Demand has arisen for developing new azole antifungal agents with the growth of the resistant rate of infective fungal species to current azole antifungals in recent years. Accordingly, the present study reports the synthesis of novel fluconazole (FLC) analogues bearing urea functionality that led to discovering new azole agents with promising antifungal activities. In particular, compounds <b>8b</b> and <b>8c</b> displayed broad-spectrum activity and superior <i>in vitro</i> antifungal capabilities compared to the standard drug FLC against sensitive and resistant <i>Candida albicans</i> (<i>C. albicans</i>). The highly active compounds <b>8b</b> and <b>8c</b> had potent antibiofilm properties against FLC-resistant <i>C. albicans</i> species. Additionally, these compounds exhibited very low toxicity for three mammalian cell lines and human red blood cells. Time-kill studies revealed that our synthesized compounds displayed a fungicidal mechanism toward fungal growth. Furthermore, a density functional theory (DFT) calculation, additional docking, and independent gradient model (IGM) studies were performed to analyze their structure-activity relationship (SAR) and to assess the molecular interactions in the related target protein. Finally, <i>in vivo</i> results represented a significant reduction in the tissue fungal burden and improvements in the survival rate in a mice model of systemic candidiasis along with <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in silico</i> studies, demonstrating the therapeutic efficiency of compounds <b>8b</b> and <b>8c</b> as novel leads for candidiasis drug discovery.
Project description:The extensive use of fluconazole (FLC) and other azole drugs has caused the emergence and rise of azole-resistant fungi. The fungistatic nature of FLC in combination with toxicity concerns have resulted in an increased demand for new azole antifungal agents. Herein, we report the synthesis and antifungal activity of novel alkylated piperazines and alkylated piperazine-azole hybrids, their time-kill studies, their hemolytic activity against murine erythrocytes, as well as their cytotoxicity against mammalian cells. Many of these molecules exhibited broad-spectrum activity against all tested fungal strains, with excellent minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values against non-albicans Candida and Aspergillus strains. The most promising compounds were found to be less hemolytic than the FDA-approved antifungal agent voriconazole (VOR). Finally, we demonstrate that the synthetic alkylated piperazine-azole hybrids do not function by fungal membrane disruption, but instead by disruption of the ergosterol biosynthetic pathway via inhibition of the 14?-demethylase enzyme present in fungal cells.
Project description:Candida auris is an emerging fungal pathogen that exhibits resistance to multiple drugs, including the most commonly prescribed antifungal, fluconazole. Here, we use a combinatorial screening approach to identify a bis-benzodioxolylindolinone (azoffluxin) that synergizes with fluconazole against C. auris. Azoffluxin enhances fluconazole activity through the inhibition of efflux pump Cdr1, thus increasing intracellular fluconazole levels. This activity is conserved across most C. auris clades, with the exception of clade III. Azoffluxin also inhibits efflux in highly azole-resistant strains of Candida albicans, another human fungal pathogen, increasing their susceptibility to fluconazole. Furthermore, azoffluxin enhances fluconazole activity in mice infected with C. auris, reducing fungal burden. Our findings suggest that pharmacologically targeting Cdr1 in combination with azoles may be an effective strategy to control infection caused by azole-resistant isolates of C. auris.
Project description:Candida albicans is a ubiquitous clinical fungal pathogen. Prolonged use of the first-line antifungal agent fluconazole (FLC) has intensified fungal resistance and limited its effectiveness for the treatment of fungal infections. The combined administration of drugs has been extensively studied and applied. SWL-1 is a lignin compound derived from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Schisandra chinensis. In this study, we show that SWL-1 reverses resistance to fluconazole in C. albicans when delivered in combination, with a sharp decrease in the IC50 of fluconazole from >200 to 3.74 ± 0.25 ?g/ml, and also reverses the fluconazole resistance of C. albicans in vitro, with IC50 from >200 to 5.3 ± 0.3 ?g/ml. Moreover, killing kinetics curves confirmed the synergistic effects of fluconazole and SWL-1. Intriguingly, when SWL-1 was administered in combination with fluconazole in a mouse model of systemic infection, the mortality of mice was markedly decreased and fungal colonization of the kidney and lung was reduced. Further mechanistic studies showed that SWL-1 significantly decreased intracellular adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) levels and inhibited the function of the efflux pump responsible for fluconazole resistance of C. albicans. Proteomic analysis of the effects of SWL-1 on C. albicans showed that several enzymes were downregulated in the glycolytic pathway. We speculate that SWL-1 significantly decreased intracellular ATP levels by hindering the glycolysis, and the function of the efflux pump responsible for fluconazole resistance of C. albicans was inhibited, resulting in restoration of fluconazole sensitivity in FLC-resistant C. albicans. This study clarified the effects and mechanism of SWL-1 on C. albicans in vitro and in vivo, providing a novel approach to overcoming fungal resistance.
Project description:The frequent emergence of azole-resistant strains has increasingly led azoles to fail in treating candidiasis. Combination with other drugs is a good option to effectively reduce or retard its incidence of resistance. Natural products are a promising synergist source to assist azoles in treating resistant candidiasis. Eucalyptal D (ED), a formyl-phloroglucinol meroterpenoid, is one of the natural synergists, which could significantly enhance the anticandidal activity of fluconazole (FLC) in treating FLC resistant <i>C. albicans</i>. The checkerboard microdilution assay showed their synergistic effect. The agar disk diffusion test illustrated the key role of ED in synergy. The rhodamine 6G (R6G) efflux assay reflected ED could reduce drug efflux, but quantitative reverse transcription PCR analysis revealed the upregulation of <i>CDR1</i> and <i>CDR2</i> genes in ED treating group. Efflux pump-deficient strains were hyper-susceptible to ED, thus ED was speculated to be the substrate of efflux pump Cdr1p and Cdr2p to competitively inhibit the excretion of FLC or R6G, which mainly contributed to its synergistic effect.
Project description:The rise in the number of fungal infections is requiring the rapid development of novel antifungal agents. A new polyoxovanadate functionalized by Zn-fluconazole coordination complexes, Zn?(FLC)?V10O28·10H?O (ZnFLC) (FLC = fluconazole) has been synthesized and evaluated for in vitro antifungal against Candida species. The identity of ZnFLC were confirmed by elemental analysis, IR spectrum, and single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The antifungal activities of ZnFLC was screened in 19 Candida species strains using the microdilution checkerboard technique. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC80) value of ZnFLC is 4 ?g/mL on the azole-resistant clinical isolates of C. albicans HL973, which is lower than the positive control, FLC. The mechanism of ZnFLC against C. albicans HL973 showed that ZnFLC damaged the fungal cell membrane and reduced the ergosterol content. The expression of ERG1, ERG7, ERG11 ERG27, and ERG28, which have effects on the synthesis of ergosterol, were all significantly upregulated by ZnFLC.
Project description:The evolution of drug resistance in fungal pathogens compromises the efficacy of the limited number of antifungal drugs. Drug combinations have emerged as a powerful strategy to enhance antifungal efficacy and abrogate drug resistance, but the impact on the evolution of drug resistance remains largely unexplored. Targeting the molecular chaperone Hsp90 or its downstream effector, the protein phosphatase calcineurin, abrogates resistance to the most widely deployed antifungals, the azoles, which inhibit ergosterol biosynthesis. Here, we evolved experimental populations of the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the leading human fungal pathogen Candida albicans with azole and an inhibitor of Hsp90, geldanamycin, or calcineurin, FK506. To recapitulate a clinical context where Hsp90 or calcineurin inhibitors could be utilized in combination with azoles to render resistant pathogens responsive to treatment, the evolution experiment was initiated with strains that are resistant to azoles in a manner that depends on Hsp90 and calcineurin. Of the 290 lineages initiated, most went extinct, yet 14 evolved resistance to the drug combination. Drug target mutations that conferred resistance to geldanamycin or FK506 were identified and validated in five evolved lineages. Whole-genome sequencing identified mutations in a gene encoding a transcriptional activator of drug efflux pumps, PDR1, and a gene encoding a transcriptional repressor of ergosterol biosynthesis genes, MOT3, that transformed azole resistance of two lineages from dependent on calcineurin to independent of this regulator. Resistance also arose by mutation that truncated the catalytic subunit of calcineurin, and by mutation in LCB1, encoding a sphingolipid biosynthetic enzyme. Genome analysis revealed extensive aneuploidy in four of the C. albicans lineages. Thus, we identify molecular determinants of the transition of azole resistance from calcineurin dependence to independence and establish multiple mechanisms by which resistance to drug combinations evolves, providing a foundation for predicting and preventing the evolution of drug resistance.
Project description:Azole antifungals are vital therapeutic options for treating invasive mycotic infections. However, the emergence of azole-resistant isolates combined with limited therapeutic options presents a growing challenge in medical mycology. To address this issue, we utilized microdilution checkerboard assays to evaluate nine stilbene compounds for their ability to interact synergistically with azole drugs, particularly against azole-resistant fungal isolates. Ospemifene displayed the most potent azole chemosensitizing activity, and its combination with itraconazole displayed broad-spectrum synergistic interactions against Candida albicans, Candida auris, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus fumigatus (?FICI?=?0.05-0.50). Additionally, in a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model, the ospemifene-itraconazole combination significantly reduced fungal CFU burdens in infected nematodes by ~75-96%. Nile Red efflux assays and RT-qPCR analysis suggest ospemifene interferes directly with fungal efflux systems, thus permitting entry of azole drugs into fungal cells. This study identifies ospemifene as a novel antifungal adjuvant that augments the antifungal activity of itraconazole against a broad range of fungal pathogens.