A High-Throughput Screening Assay for Fungicidal Compounds against Cryptococcus neoformans.
ABSTRACT Cryptococcus neoformans is a pathogenic fungus that causes meningitis worldwide, particularly in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals. Although amphotericin B is the "gold standard" treatment for cryptococcal meningitis, the toxicity and inconvenience of intravenous injection emphasize a need for development of new anticryptocccal drugs. Recent data from humans and animal studies suggested that a nutrient-deprived host environment may exist in cryptococcal meningitis. Thus, a screening assay for identifying fungicidal compounds under nutrient-deprived conditions may provide an alternative strategy to develop new anticryptococcal drugs for this disease. A high-throughput fungicidal assay was developed using a profluorescent dye, alamarBlue, to detect residual metabolic activity of C. neoformans under nutrient-limiting conditions. Screening the Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds (LOPAC) with this assay identified a potential chemical scaffold, 10058-F4, that exhibited fungicidal activity in the low micromolar range. These results thus demonstrate the feasibility of this alamarBlue-based assay for high-throughput screening of fungicidal compounds under nutrient-limiting conditions for new anticryptococcal drug development.
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ABSTRACT: A recent large outbreak of fungal infections by Exserohilum rostratum from contaminated compounding solutions has highlighted the need to rapidly screen available pharmaceuticals that could be useful in therapy. The present study utilized two newly-developed high throughput assays to screen approved drugs and pharmaceutically active compounds for identification of potential antifungal agents. Several known drugs were found that have potent effects against E. rostratum including the triazole antifungal posaconazole. Posaconazole is likely to be effective against infections involving septic joints and may provide an alternative for refractory central nervous system infections. The anti-E. rostratum activities of several other drugs including bithionol (an anti-parasitic drug), tacrolimus (an immunosuppressive agent) and floxuridine (an antimetabolite) were also identified from the drug repurposing screens. In addition, activities of other potential antifungal agents against E. rostratum were excluded, which may avoid unnecessary therapeutic trials and reveals the limited therapeutic alternatives for this outbreak. In summary, this study has demonstrated that drug repurposing screens can be quickly conducted within a useful time-frame. This would allow clinical implementation of identified alternative therapeutics and should be considered as part of the initial public health response to new outbreaks or rapidly-emerging microbial pathogens.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e70506. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cryptococcus neoformans causes an estimated 600,000 AIDS-related deaths annually that occur primarily in resource-limited countries. Fluconazole and amphotericin B are currently available for the treatment of cryptococcal-related infections. However, fluconazole has limited clinical efficacy and amphotericin B requires intravenous infusion and is associated with high renal toxicity. Therefore, there is an unmet need for a new orally administrable anti-cryptococcal drug. We have developed a high-throughput screening assay for the measurement of C. neoformans viability in 1,536-well plate format. The signal-to-basal ratio of the ATP content assay was 21.9 fold with a coefficient of variation and Z' factor of 7.1 % and 0.76, respectively. A pilot screen of 1,280 known compounds against the wild-type C. neoformans (strain H99) led to the identification of four active compounds including niclosamide, malonoben, 6-bromoindirubin-3'-oxime, and 5-[(4-ethylphenyl)methylene]-2-thioxo-4-thiazolidinone. These compounds were further tested against nine clinical isolates of C. neoformans, and their fungicidal activities were confirmed. The results demonstrate that this miniaturized C. neoformans assay is advantageous for the high-throughput screening of large compound collections to identify lead compounds for new anti-cryptococcal drug development.Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 06/2013; · 3.66 Impact Factor