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Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) "Paper of the Week"

 

Attacking drug-resistant strains of Candida albicans

 

Drug-resistant strains of the fungus, Candida albicans, have been on the rise for several decades, striking immunocompromised patients who have undergone organ transplants, chemotherapy or HIV treatments. The drug-resistant fungus exploits a number of membrane-embedded transporters to eject drugs from its cells. The efflux pump Cdr1 is one of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily of transporters, which is one of the main ways C. albicans rejects azole antifungal agents. In this Paper of the Week, a team led by Rajendra Prasad at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in India rationally designed and synthesized transmembrane peptides mimics (TMPMs) of Cdr1. The investigators demonstrated that in vitro studies, these TMPMs targeted Cdr1 in clinical isolates of C. albicans and stopped them from transporting the drug. When used in vivo, the mimics, because they halted drug efflux, improved thetherapeutic efficacy of a drug called fluconazole. The authors concluded, "TMPMs as antagonists offer an alternative approach to chemosensitize azole-resistant Candida isolates."

 

Candida albicans