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Enhancement of Commercial Antifungal Agents by Kojic Acid

Jong H. Kim, Perng-Kuang Chang, Kathleen L. Chan, Natália C. G. Faria, Noreen Mahoney, Young K. Kim, Maria de L. Martins, Bruce C. Campbell
International journal of molecular sciences 2012 v.13 pp. 13867-13880
Aspergillus fumigatus, adverse effects, amphotericin B, aspergillosis, fermentation, fungicides, humans, hydrogen peroxide, kojic acid, mitogen-activated protein kinase, mutants, pathogens, yeasts
Natural compounds that pose no significant medical or environmental side effects are potential sources of antifungal agents, either in their nascent form or as structural backbones for more effective derivatives. Kojic acid (KA) is one such compound. It is a natural by-product of fungal fermentation commonly employed by food and cosmetic industries. We show that KA greatly lowers minimum inhibitory (MIC) or fungicidal (MFC) concentrations of commercial medicinal and agricultural antifungal agents, amphotericin B (AMB) and strobilurin, respectively, against pathogenic yeasts and filamentous fungi. Assays using two mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) mutants, i.e., sakAΔ, mpkCΔ, of Aspergillus fumigatus, an agent for human invasive aspergillosis, with hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) or AMB indicate such chemosensitizing activity of KA is most conceivably through disruption of fungal antioxidation systems. KA could be developed as a chemosensitizer to enhance efficacy of certain conventional antifungal drugs or fungicides.