Article

A High-Throughput Screening Assay for Fungicidal Compounds against Cryptococcus neoformans

1Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Journal of Biomolecular Screening (Impact Factor: 2.01). 07/2013; 19(2). DOI: 10.1177/1087057113496847
Source: PubMed

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.

0 Followers
 · 
104 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cell viability assays are extensively used to determine cell health, evaluate growth conditions, and assess compound cytotoxicity. Most existing assays are endpoint assays, in which data are collected at one time point after termination of the experiment. The time point at which toxicity of a compound is evident, however, depends on the mechanism of that compound. An ideal cell viability assay allows the determination of compound toxicity kinetically without having to terminate the assay prematurely. We optimized and validated a reagent-addition-free cell viability assay using an autoluminescent HEK293 cell line that stably expresses bacterial luciferase and all substrates necessary for bioluminescence. This cell viability assay can be used for real-time, long-term measurement of compound cytotoxicity in live cells with a signal-to-basal ratio of 20- to 200-fold and Z-factors of ~0.6 after 24-, 48- 72-, or 96-h incubation with compound. We also found that the potencies of nine cytotoxic compounds correlated well with those measured by four other commonly used cell viability assays. The results demonstrated that this kinetic cell viability assay using the HEK293(lux) autoluminescent cell line is useful for high-throughput evaluation of compound cytotoxicity. © 2014 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.
    Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation 12/2014; 20(2). DOI:10.1177/2211068214560608 · 1.50 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Invasive, life-threatening fungal infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly for patients with compromised immune function. The number of therapeutic options for the treatment of invasive fungal infections is quite limited when compared with those available to treat bacterial infections. Indeed, only three classes of molecules are currently used in clinical practice and only one new class of antifungal drugs has been developed in the last 30 years. Here we summarize the unmet clinical needs of current antifungal therapy, discuss challenges inherent to antifungal drug discovery and development, and review recent developments aimed at addressing some of these challenges.
    Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine 05/2014; 4(5). DOI:10.1101/cshperspect.a019703 · 7.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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 09/2013; 8(8):e70506. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0070506 · 3.53 Impact Factor