Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is the most prevalent endemic mycosis in Latin America. The disease is caused by fungi of the genus
and mainly affects low-income rural workers after inhalation of fungal conidia suspended in the air. The current arsenal of chemotherapeutic agents requires long-term administration protocols. In addition, chemotherapy is related to a significantly increased frequency of disease relapse, high toxicity, and incomplete elimination of the fungus. Due to the limitations of current anti-PCM drugs, we developed a computational drug repurposing-chemogenomics approach to identify approved drugs or drug candidates in clinical trials with anti-PCM activity. In contrast to the one-drug-one-target paradigm, our chemogenomics approach attempts to predict interactions between drugs, and
protein targets. To achieve this goal, we designed a workflow with the following steps: (a) compilation and preparation of
spp. genome data; (b) identification of orthologous proteins among the isolates; (c) identification of homologous proteins in publicly available drug-target databases; (d) selection of
essential targets using validated genes from
; (e) homology modeling and molecular docking studies; and (f) experimental validation of selected candidates. We prioritized 14 compounds. Two antineoplastic drug candidates (vistusertib and BGT-226) predicted to be inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase TOR2 showed antifungal activity at low micromolar concentrations (<10 μM). Four antifungal azole drugs (bifonazole, luliconazole, butoconazole, and sertaconazole) showed antifungal activity at low nanomolar concentrations, validating our methodology. The results suggest our strategy for predicting new anti-PCM drugs is useful. Finally, we could recommend hit-to-lead optimization studies to improve potency and selectivity, as well as pharmaceutical formulations to improve oral bioavailability of the antifungal azoles identified.
Paracoccidioidomycosis is a neglected disease that causes economic and social impacts, mainly affecting people of certain social segments, such as rural workers. The limitations of antifungals, such as toxicity, drug interactions, restricted routes of administration, and the reduced bioavailability in target tissues, have become evident in clinical settings. These factors, added to the fact that Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) therapy is a long process, lasting from months to years, emphasize the need for the research and development of new molecules. Researchers have concentrated efforts on the identification of new compounds using numerous tools and targeting important proteins from Paracoccidioides, with the emphasis on enzymatic pathways absent in humans. This review aims to discuss the aspects related to the identification of compounds, methodologies, and perspectives when proposing new antifungal agents against PCM.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis is a serious health problem affecting numerous women around the world. Its treatment is based on antifungals which may not provide an effective cure because of the resistance presented by its etiological pathogens Candida spp. Candida albicans is the most prevalent species related to vulvovaginal candidiasis. Here, we evaluated the in vivo antifungal potential of thiosemicarbazide and thiosemicarbazide encapsulated within chitosan nanoparticles in a murine model of vulvovaginal candidiasis. The results demonstrated the antifungal capacity of free or nanoencapsulated thiosemicarbazide within chitosan to reduce the fungal load in the vaginal tissue of infected mice. In addition, histological analyses indicated the absence or a mild to moderate infection in thiosemicarbazide-treated groups. Statistical tests confirmed the existence of significant differences between the treated and the control groups. Therefore, our results suggest a potential application of thiosemicarbazide and encapsulated thiosemicarbazide as an alternative vulvovaginal candidiasis therapy.
Fungal infections increased substantially in the last years, becoming a relevant public health problem. Many of these infections account for high rates of morbidity and mortality. The emergence of resistant fungal clinical isolates have also motivate studies to find new antifungal therapies. Candida albicans is an oportunistic pathogen and affects a great number of immunocompromised patients worldwide. The marine ecosystem has been considered a rich source of bioactive metabolites due to the complexity and originality of its structures. Proteins and peptides from marine organisms have been shown to have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, anticancer, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Arenicins are antimicrobial peptides isolated from the marine lugworm Arenicola marina with 21 amino acid residues in a β-hairpin structure. Dihydrofolate reductase, exo-b-(1,3)-glucanase and sterol 14α-demethylase are essential C. albincas enzymes that take part in DNA, cell wall and membrane metabolism, respectively. The present study evaluates the interaction of arenicin with important enzymes of C. albicans related to cell wall, ergosterol and DNA metabolism in order to elucidate possible molecular targets. We showed through an in silico approach, that a single compound from a marine worm (A. marina), can bind to three C. albicans essential proteins. The interaction occurs in regions inside the active site or at least near, with amino acid residues evaluated as hot spots. Arenicin is a new promising antifugal drug. The next step is to investigate protein-protein interactions performed by DHFR, EBG and CYP51 and assess whether arenicin is able to disrupt essential interaction or not.
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