[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phaeofungin (1), a new cyclic depsipeptide isolated from Phaeosphaeria sp., was discovered by application of reverse genetics technology, using the Candida albicans fitness test (CaFT). Phaeofungin is comprised of seven amino acids and a β,γ-dihydroxy-γ-methylhexadecanoic acid arranged in a 25-membered cyclic depsipeptide. Five of the amino acids were assigned with d-configurations. The structure was elucidated by 2D-NMR and HRMS-MS analysis of the natural product and its hydrolyzed linear peptide. The absolute configuration of the amino acids was determined by Marfey's method by complete and partial hydrolysis of 1. The CaFT profile of the phaeofungin-containing extract overlapped with that of phomafungin (3), another structurally different cyclic lipodepsipeptide isolated from a Phoma sp. using the same approach. Comparative biological characterization further demonstrated that these two fungal lipodepsipeptides are functionally distinct. While phomafungin was potentiated by cyclosporin A (an inhibitor of the calcineurin pathway), phaeofungin was synergized with aureobasidin A (2) (an inhibitor of the sphingolipid biosynthesis) and to some extent caspofungin (an inhibitor of glucan synthase). Furthermore, phaeofungin caused ATP release in wild-type C. albicans strains but phomafungin did not. It showed modest antifungal activity against C. albicans (MIC 16-32 μg/mL) and better activity against Aspergillus fumigatus (MIC 8-16 μg/mL) and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (MIC 4 μg/mL). The linear peptide was inactive, suggesting that the macrocyclic depsipeptide ring is essential for target engagement and antifungal activity.
Journal of Natural Products 03/2013; 76(3):334-45. · 3.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We isolated a cyclic lipodepsipeptide, phomafungin, from a Phoma sp. The distinct antifungal activity of phomafungin in the crude extract was initially discovered by mechanistic profiling in the Candida albicans fitness test. The purified compound contains a 28 member ring consisting of eight amino acids and a beta-hydroxy-gamma-methyl-hexadecanoic acid, and displays a broad spectrum of antifungal activity against Candida spp., Aspergillus fumigatus and Trichophyton mentagrophytes with MIC of 2-8 microg/ml, and toxicity to mice at 25 mg/kg. The linear peptide derived from opening of the lactone ring was devoid of antifungal activity as well as toxicity. Phomafungin has been identified in a number of Phoma spp. collected from Africa and the Indian and Pacific Ocean islands.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A glycosylated tetramic acid, virgineone (1), was isolated from saprotrophic Lachnum virgineum. The antifungal activity of the fermentation extract of L. virgineum was characterized in the Candida albicans fitness test as distinguishable from other natural products tested. Bioassay-guided fractionation yielded 1, a tyrosine-derived tetramic acid with a C-22 oxygenated chain and a beta-mannose. It displayed broad-spectrum antifungal activity against Candida spp. and Aspergillus fumigatus with a MIC of 4 and 16 microg/mL, respectively. Virgineone was also identified in a number of Lachnum strains collected from diverse geographies and habitats.
Journal of Natural Products 01/2009; 72(1):136-41. · 3.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural products provide an unparalleled source of chemical scaffolds with diverse biological activities and have profoundly impacted antimicrobial drug discovery. To further explore the full potential of their chemical diversity, we survey natural products for antifungal, target-specific inhibitors by using a chemical-genetic approach adapted to the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans and demonstrate that natural-product fermentation extracts can be mechanistically annotated according to heterozygote strain responses. Applying this approach, we report the discovery and characterization of a natural product, parnafungin, which we demonstrate, by both biochemical and genetic means, to inhibit poly(A) polymerase. Parnafungin displays potent and broad spectrum activity against diverse, clinically relevant fungal pathogens and reduces fungal burden in a murine model of disseminated candidiasis. Thus, mechanism-of-action determination of crude fermentation extracts by chemical-genetic profiling brings a powerful strategy to natural-product-based drug discovery.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Caspofungin inhibits synthesis of beta-D-1,3 glucan, essential to cell walls in Candida and Aspergillus spp., but activity against less common molds is largely uncharacterized. We demonstrate that caspofungin inhibits beta-D-1,3 glucan synthesis and reduces in vitro growth of clinical isolates from the genera Alternaria, Curvularia, Scedosporium, Acremonium, Bipolaris, and Trichoderma.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 07/2006; 50(6):2214-6. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In vitro assessment of activity is crucial to the development of antibacterial agents. Several basic clinical microbiology procedures for this evaluation are provided in this unit, including determination of the minimum inhibitor concentration (MIC), kill curves, and synergy testing. These techniques yield information on in vitro efficacy, cidal-versus-static activity, and the potential for synergy with other agents.
Current protocols in pharmacology 01/2006; Chapter 13:Unit13A.3.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural fungal products were screened for antifungal compounds. The mode of action of one of the hits found and the taxonomy of the producing organism were analysed.
An extract from a Trichoderma species showed a more potent activity in an agar-based assay against the null mutant fks1::HIS strain than against the wild-type strain, suggesting that it could contain a glucan synthesis inhibitor. The active component was identified as the known compound ergokonin A. The compound exhibited activity against Candida and Aspergillus species, but was inactive against Cryptococcus species. It induced alterations in the hyphal morphology of Aspergillus fumigatus. The identification of the producing isolate was confirmed by sequencing of the rDNA internal transcribed spacers and comparison with the sequences of other Trichoderma species. The analysis showed that the producing fungus had a high homology with other strains classified as Trichoderma longibrachiatum and its teleomorph Hypocrea schweinitzii.
The antifungal activity spectrum of ergokonin A and the morphology alterations induced on A. fumigatus are consistent with glucan synthesis as the target for ergokonin A. The production of ergokonin A is not uncommon, but is probably restricted to Trichoderma species.
The discovery that ergokonin A could be an inhibitor of glucan synthesis, having a structure very different to other inhibitors, increases the likelihood that orally active agents with this fungal-specific mode of action may be developed.
Journal of Applied Microbiology 12/2001; 91(5):806-13. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Echinocandins, the lipopeptide class of glucan synthase inhibitors, are an alternative to ergosterol-synthesis inhibitors to treat candidiasis and aspergillosis. Their oral absorption, however, is low and they can only be used parenterally. During a natural product screening program for novel types of glucan synthesis inhibitors with improved bioavailability, a fungal extract was found that inhibited the growth of both a wild-type Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain and the null mutant of the FKS1 gene (fks1::HIS). The mutant strain was more sensitive to growth inhibition, suggesting that the fungal extract could contain an inhibitor of glucan synthesis. A novel acidic steroid, named arundifungin, was purified from a fungal extract obtained from a liquid culture of Arthrinium arundinis collected in Costa Rica. Arundifungin caused the same pattern of hallmark morphological alterations in Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae as echinocandins, further supporting the idea that arundifungin belongs to a new class of glucan synthesis inhibitors. Moreover, its antifungal spectrum was comparable to those of echinocandins and papulacandins, preferentially inhibiting the growth of Candida and Aspergillus strains, with very poor activity against Cryptococcus. Arundifungin was also detected in nine other fungal isolates which were ecologically and taxonomically unrelated, as assessed by sequencing of the ITS1 region. Further, it was also found in two more Arthrinium spp from tropical and temperate regions, in five psychrotolerant conspecific isolates collected on Macquarie Island South Pacific) and belonging to the Leotiales, and in two endophytes collected in central Spain a sterile fungus belonging to the Leotiales and an undetermined coelomycete).
International Microbiology 07/2001; · 2.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a screening of natural products with antifungal activity derived from endophytic fungi, we detected a potent activity in a culture belonging to the form-genus Hormonema, isolated from leaves of Juniperus communis. The compound is a new triterpene glycoside, showing an antifungal activity highly potent in vitro against Candida and Aspergillus and with moderate efficacy in an in vivo mouse model of disseminated candidiasis. The agent is especially interesting since its antifungal spectrum and its effect on morphology of Aspergillus fumigatus is comparable to that of the glucan synthase inhibitor pneumocandin B,,, the natural precursor of the clinical candidate MK-0991 (caspofungin acetate). An additional search for other Hormonema isolates producing improved titers or derivatives resulted in the isolation of two more strains recovered from the same plant host showing identical activity. The producing isolates were compared with other non-producing Hormonema strains by DNA fingerprinting and sequencing of the rDNA internal transcribed spacers. Comparison of rDNA sequences with other fungal species suggests that the producing fungus could be an undetermined Kabatina species. Kabatina is a coelomycetous genus whose members are known to produce Hormonema-like states in culture.
Systematic and Applied Microbiology 11/2000; 23(3):333-43. · 3.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enfumafungin (1) is a hemiacetal, triterpene glycoside that was isolated from a fermentation of Hormonema sp. as a mixture of two interconverting forms. The primary structure of the major component of the mixture was determined as part of the mixture, mainly via NMR and comparison with hyalodendroside A (2), a related hemiacetal, triterpene glycoside that exists in a single form. The primary structure was confirmed, and the relative stereochemistry determined, based on a pair of methylacetal derivatives (3 and 4). Enfumafungin is an antifungal agent that acts as a specific inhibitor of glucan synthesis in cells and in vitro, and leads to morphological changes in yeasts and molds.
Journal of The American Chemical Society - J AM CHEM SOC. 04/2000; 122(20).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increasing incidence of life-threatening fungal infections has driven the search for new, broad-spectrum fungicidal agents that can be used for treatment and prophylaxis in immunocompromised patients. Natural-product inhibitors of cell wall (1,3)-beta-D-glucan synthase such as lipopeptide pneumocandins and echinocandins as well as the glycolipid papulacandins have been evaluated as potential therapeutics for the last two decades. As a result, MK-0991 (caspofungin acetate; Cancidas), a semisynthetic analogue of pneumocandin B(o), is being developed as a broad-spectrum parenteral agent for the treatment of aspergillosis and candidiasis. This and other lipopeptide antifungal agents have limited oral bioavailability. Thus, we have sought new chemical structures with the mode of action of lipopeptide antifungal agents but with the potential for oral absorption. Results of natural-product screening by a series of newly developed methods has led to the identification of four acidic terpenoid (1,3)-beta-D-glucan synthase inhibitors. Of the four compounds, the in vitro antifungal activity of one, enfumafungin, is comparable to that of L-733560, a close analogue of MK-0991. Like the lipopeptides, enfumafungin specifically inhibits glucan synthesis in whole cells and in (1,3)-beta-D-glucan synthase assays, alters the morphologies of yeasts and molds, and produces a unique response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with point mutations in FKS1, the gene which encodes the large subunit of glucan synthase.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 03/2000; 44(2):368-77. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coprophilin, a decalin pentanedienoic acid methyl ester, was isolated from an unidentified fungus by bioassay guided separation. It inhibited (MIC = 1.5 microM) the growth of Eimeria tenella in an in vitro assay. The isolation, structure elucidation, absolute stereochemistry and biology are described.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytosporin A, B and C, three antagonists of [125I]-angiotensin II binding to rat adrenal glands were discovered in fermentations of an endophytic Cytospora sp. during routine screening using semi-automated procedures. The most potent of these displayed an IC50 of 1.5-3 microM and was specific for angiotensin II AT2.
The Journal of Antibiotics 03/1996; 49(2):119-23. · 2.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel oleic acid ester of the carotane sesquiterpene 14-hydroxy CAF-603 was isolated from Trichoderma virens grown in a solid brown rice-based medium, a solid millet-based medium, or a mannitol-based liquid medium. Its structure was determined on the basis of ms and nmr analysis. It retains distinct biological activity on the high conductance calcium-activated potassium channel, unlike its analogues 14-hydroxy CAF-603, CAF-603 3-oleate, or CAF-603 3-linoleate.
Journal of Natural Products 01/1996; 58(12):1822-8. · 3.29 Impact Factor