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Inhibitors of amino acids biosynthesis as antifungal agents

Jastrzębowska, Kamila, Gabriel, Iwona
Amino acids 2015 v.47 no.2 pp. 227-249
amino acids, animal pathogenic fungi, antifungal agents, auxotrophs, biosynthesis, chemical compounds, culture media, drug therapy, enzymes, humans, virulence, yeasts
Fungal microorganisms, including the human pathogenic yeast and filamentous fungi, are able to synthesize all proteinogenic amino acids, including nine that are essential for humans. A number of enzymes catalyzing particular steps of human-essential amino acid biosynthesis are fungi specific. Numerous studies have shown that auxotrophic mutants of human pathogenic fungi impaired in biosynthesis of particular amino acids exhibit growth defect or at least reduced virulence under in vivo conditions. Several chemical compounds inhibiting activity of one of these enzymes exhibit good antifungal in vitro activity in minimal growth media, which is not always confirmed under in vivo conditions. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the present knowledge on pathways of amino acids biosynthesis in fungi, with a special emphasis put on enzymes catalyzing particular steps of these pathways as potential targets for antifungal chemotherapy.