The identification of new antifungal molecules is an important goal of current anti-infective research. To achieve this goal, alternatives to traditional growth inhibition-based screening have been developed in recent years. In this study, we describe an assay to detect molecules that disrupt yeast cell integrity by using the release of adenylate kinase (AK) into culture medium as a reporter of yeast cell lysis. The protocol is applicable to 96- and 384-well microtiter plate formats; uses a commercially available luminescence assay kit to detect AK activity; is more sensitive than traditional growth-based assays; and is specific for fungicidal compounds. In the high-throughput setting, the procedure provides excellent Z' scores (0.75-0.9), making it a highly robust assay. The AK assay is performed in a single microtiter plate using an 'add and read' procedure that can be completed in a single work day.
"An equal volume (50 µl) of ToxiLight assay solution prepared according to the manufacturer's specifications was added to each well and incubated at room temperature for 30 min. Luminescence was measured using a SpectraMax Plate Reader (Molecular Devices), as described for assays of planktonic cells (DiDone et al., 2010; Krysan and DiDone, 2008). The biofilms in the initial microtitre plate were then processed for the XTT assay according to the established protocols (Pierce et al., 2008; see below). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of Candida albicans to form drug-resistant biofilms is an important factor in its contribution to human disease. Assays to identify and characterize molecules with activity against fungal biofilms are crucial for the development of drugs with improved anti-biofilm activity. Here we report the application of an adenylate kinase (AK)-based cytotoxicity assay of fungal cell lysis to the characterization of agents active against C. albicans biofilms. We have developed three protocols for the AK assay. The first measures AK activity in the supernatants of biofilms treated with antifungal drugs and can be performed in parallel with a standard 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulphophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-caboxanilide-based biofilm susceptibility assay; a second, more sensitive protocol measures the AK activity present within the biofilm matrix; and a third procedure allows the direct visualization of lytic activity toward biofilms formed on catheter material. Amphotericin B and caspofungin, the two most effective anti-biofilm drugs currently used to treat fungal infections, both directly lyse planktonic C. albicans cells in vitro, leading to the release of AK into the culture medium. These studies serve to validate the AK-based lysis assay as a useful addition to the methods for the characterization of antifungal agents active toward biofilms and provide insights into the mode of action of amphotericin B and caspofungin against C. albicans biofilms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is well-established to be one of the most important bacterial pathogens for which new antimicrobial therapies are needed. Herein, we describe the development of a high throughput screening assay for the identification of molecules that are bactericidal against Mycobacteria. The assay utilizes the release of the intracellular enzyme adenylate kinase into the culture medium as a reporter of mycobacterial cell death. We demonstrate that the assay is selective for mycobactericidal molecules and detects anti-mycobacterial activity at concentrations below the minimum inhibitory concentration of many molecules. Thus, the AK assay is more sensitive than traditional growth assays. We have validated the AK assay in the HTS setting using the Mtb surrogate organism M. smegmatis and libraries of FDA approved drugs as well as a commercially available Diversity set. The screen of the FDA-approved library demonstrated that the AK assay is able to identify the vast majority of drugs with known mycobactericidal activity. Importantly, our screen of the Diversity set revealed that the increased sensitivity of the AK assay increases the ability of M. smegmatis-based screens to detect molecules with relatively poor activity against M. smegmatis but good to excellent activity against Mtb.
PLoS ONE 06/2015; 10(6):e0129234. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129234 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although protein kinases have recently emerged as important drug targets, the anti-infective potential of protein kinase inhibitors has not been developed extensively. We identified the mammalian PDK1 inhibitor KP-372-1 as a potent antifungal molecule with activity against yeast and fungal biofilms using a screening strategy for protein kinase inhibitors that block the cell wall stress response in yeast. Genetic and biochemical studies indicate that KP-372-1 inhibits fungal PDK1 orthologs (Pkh kinases) as part of its mode of action and support a role for Pkh kinases in eisosome assembly. Two other structurally distinct molecules that inhibit PDK1, OSU-03012 and UCN-01, also have antifungal activity. Taken together, these data indicate that fungal PDK1 orthologs are promising targets for new antifungal drug development.
ACS Chemical Biology 02/2011; 6(5):502-10. DOI:10.1021/cb100399x · 5.33 Impact Factor
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