Prp8 intein in fungal pathogens: target for potential antifungal drugs

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4H7.
FEBS Letters (Impact Factor: 3.34). 09/2004; 572(1-3):46-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2004.07.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Inteins are self-splicing intervening sequences in proteins, and inteins of pathogenic organisms can be attractive drug targets. Here, we report an intein in important fungal pathogens including Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus nidulans, Histoplasma capsulatum, and different serotypes of Cryptococcus neoformans. This intein is inside the extremely conserved and functionally essential Prp8 protein, and it varies in size from 170 aa in C. neoformans to 819 aa in A. fumigatus, which is caused by the presence or absence of an endonuclease domain and a putative tongs subdomain in the intein. Prp8 inteins of these organisms were demonstrated to do protein splicing in a recombinant protein in Escherichia coli. These findings revealed Prp8 inteins as attractive targets for potential antifungal drugs to be identified using existing selection and screening methods.

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