Deepu Alex

Georgetown University, Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

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Publications (6)18.58 Total impact

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    Future Microbiology 06/2014; 9:791-805. · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Curvularia is a dematiaceous mold that infects plant species and is found in the soil. In humans, it is known to cause keratitis after trauma to the eye. We report the findings of persistent fungal endophthalmitis in a 74-year-old female patient who had undergone prior cataract surgery. Mold identification and antifungal susceptibilities were done on 2 separate samples of vitreous fluid and they were found to be consistent with Curvularia lunata by the use of PCR amplification methods.
    Medical Mycology Case Reports. 01/2013; 2:137–140.
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    ABSTRACT: We have identified four synthetic compounds (DFD-VI-15, BD-I-186, DFD-V-49, and DFD-V-66) from an amino acid-derived 1,2-benzisothiazolinone (BZT) scaffold that have reasonable MIC(50) values against a panel of fungal pathogens. These compounds have no structural similarity to existing antifungal drugs. Three of the four compounds have fungicidal activity against Candida spp., Cryptococcus neoformans, and several dermatophytes, while one is fungicidal to Aspergillus fumigatus. The kill rates of our compounds are equal to those in clinical usage. The BZT compounds remain active against azole-, polyene-, and micafungin-resistant strains of Candida spp. A genetics-based approach, along with phenotype analysis, was used to begin mode of action (MOA) studies of one of these compounds, DFD-VI-15. The genetics-based screen utilized a homozygous deletion collection of approximately 4,700 Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants. We identified mutants that are both hypersensitive and resistant. Using FunSpec, the hypersensitive mutants and a resistant ace2 mutant clustered within a category of genes related directly or indirectly to mitochondrial functions. In Candida albicans, the functions of the Ace2p transcription factor include the regulation of glycolysis. Our model is that DFD-VI-15 targets a respiratory pathway that limits energy production. Supporting this hypothesis are phenotypic data indicating that DFD-VI-15 causes increased cell-reactive oxidants (ROS) and a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential. Also, the same compound has activity when cells are grown in a medium containing glycerol (mitochondrial substrate) but is much less active when cells are grown anaerobically.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 06/2012; 56(9):4630-9. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of broad-spectrum antifungal agents based on the 1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one scaffold is reported. Preliminary structure-activity relationship studies have established the importance of the presence of the heterocyclic ring, a methyl group, and a phenyl ring for optimal manifestation of antifungal activity.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 08/2011; 19(19):5782-7. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that deletion of GOA1 (growth and oxidant adaptation) of Candida albicans results in a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, ATP synthesis, increased sensitivity to oxidants and killing by human neutrophils, and avirulence in a systemic model of candidiasis. We established that translocation of Goa1p to mitochondria occurred during peroxide stress. In this report, we show that the goa1Δ (GOA31), compared to the wild type (WT) and a gene-reconstituted (GOA32) strain, exhibits sensitivity to inhibitors of the classical respiratory chain (CRC), including especially rotenone (complex I [CI]) and salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM), an inhibitor of the alternative oxidase pathway (AOX), while potassium cyanide (KCN; CIV) causes a partial inhibition of respiration. In the presence of SHAM, however, GOA31 has an enhanced respiration, which we attribute to the parallel respiratory (PAR) pathway and alternative NADH dehydrogenases. Interestingly, deletion of GOA1 also results in a decrease in transcription of the alternative oxidase gene AOX1 in untreated cells as well as negligible AOX1 and AOX2 transcription in peroxide-treated cells. To explain the rotenone sensitivity, we measured enzyme activities of complexes I to IV (CI to CIV) and observed a major loss of CI activity in GOA31 but not in control strains. Enzymatic data of CI were supported by blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) experiments which demonstrated less CI protein and reduced enzyme activity. The consequence of a defective CI in GOA31 is an increase in reactive oxidant species (ROS), loss of chronological aging, and programmed cell death ([PCD] apoptosis) in vitro compared to control strains. The increase in PCD was indicated by an increase in caspase activity and DNA fragmentation in GOA31. Thus, GOA1 is required for a functional CI and partially for the AOX pathway; loss of GOA1 compromises cell survival. Further, the loss of chronological aging is new to studies of Candida species and may offer an insight into therapies to control these pathogens. Our observation of increased ROS production associated with a defective CI and PCD is reminiscent of mitochondrial studies of patients with some types of neurodegenerative diseases where CI and/or CIII dysfunctions lead to increased ROS and apoptosis.
    Eukaryotic Cell 03/2011; 10(5):672-82. · 3.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using a Tn7 transposon library of Candida albicans, we have identified a mutant that exhibited sensitivity in drop plate assays to oxidants such as menadione and hydrogen peroxide. To verify the role of the mutated gene in stress adaptation, null mutants were constructed and phenotypically characterized. Because of its apparent functions in growth and oxidant adaptation, we have named the gene GOA1. Goa1p appears to be unique to the CTG subclade of the Saccharomycotina, including C. albicans. Mutants of C. albicans lacking goa1 (strain GOA31) were more sensitive to 6 mM H(2)O(2) and 0.125 mM menadione than the wild type (wt) or a gene-reconstituted (GOA32) strain. The sensitivity to oxidants correlated with reduced survival of the GOA31 mutant in human neutrophils and avirulence compared to control strains. Other phenotypes of GOA31 include reduced growth and filamentation in 10% serum, Spider, and SLAD agar media and an inability to form chlamydospores. Since Goa1p has an N-terminal mitochondrion localization site, we also show that green fluorescent protein-tagged Goa1p shows a mitochondrionlike distribution during oxidant or osmotic stress. Further, the inability of GOA31 to grow in medium containing lactate, ethanol, or glycerol as the sole carbon source indicates that the mitochondria are defective in the mutant. To determine how Goa1p contributes to mitochondrial function, we compared the wt, GOA32, and GOA31 strains for mitochondrial electrical membrane potential, respiration, and oxidative phosphorylation. We now show that GOA31, but not the wt or GOA32, had decreased respiration and mitochondrial membrane potential such that mutant cells are unable to drive oxidative phosphorylation. This is the first report in C. albicans of a respiratory defect caused by a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential.
    Eukaryotic Cell 09/2009; 8(11):1706-20. · 3.59 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

39 Citations
18.58 Total Impact Points


  • 2009–2013
    • Georgetown University
      • • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      • • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
    • University of Campinas
      • Departamento de Patologia Clínica
      Conceição de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil