International Microbiology, Vol 16, No 4 (2013)

Analysis of validamycin as a potential antifungal compound against Candida albicans

José P. Guirao-Abad, Ruth Sánchez-Fresneda, Eulogio Valentín, María Martínez-Esparza, Juan-Carlos Argüelles


Validamycin A has been successfully applied in the fight against phytopathogenic fungi. Here, the putative antifungal effect of this pseudooligosaccharide against the prevalent human pathogen Candida albicans was examined. Validamycin A acts as a potent competitive inhibitor of the cell-wall-linked acid trehalase (Atc1p). The estimated MIC50 for the C. albicans parental strain CEY.1 was 500 mg/l. The addition of doses below MIC50 to exponentially growing CEY.1 cells caused a slight reduction in cell growth. A concentration of 1 mg/ml was required to achieve a significant degree of cell killing. The compound was stable as evidenced by the increased reduction of cell growth with increasing incubation time. A homozygous atc1Δ/atc1Δ mutant lacking functional Atc1p activity showed greater resistance to the drug. The antifungal power of validamycin A was limited compared with the drastic lethal action caused by exposure to amphotericin B. The endogenous content of trehalose rose significantly upon validamycin and amphotericin B addition. Neither serum-induced hypha formation nor the level of myceliation recorded in macroscopic colonies were affected by exposure to validamycin A. Our results suggest that, although validamycin A cannot be considered a clinically useful antifungal against C. albicans, its mechanism of action and antifungal properties provide the basis for designing new, clinically interesting, antifungal-related compounds. [Int Microbiol 2013; 16(4):217-225]

Keywords: Candida albicans · Rhizoctonia solani · validamycin A · amphotericin B · trehalose

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