Molecular mechanisms of antifungal activity and fungal resistence: focus on inhibitors of ergosterol biosynthesis

  • H. Moereels
  • H. Vanden Bossche
  • P. Marichal
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 69)


Metabolic differences between hosts and their fungal pathogens provide scientists, interested in the development of antifungal agents, with selective targets for chemotherapeutic attack. There are many ways to select targets (for a review see Kerridge and Vanden Bossche 1990). A survey can be made of targets that are absent from host cells. The best examples are enzymes involved in the synthesis and hydrolysis of chitin, a structural polysaccharide absent from mammals. An other example is the β-l,3-glucan synthase responsible for the synthesis of the fungal cell wall β-glucan. Such targets are not only involved in the synthesis of cell wall components, they are also present in pathways of intermediary metabolism. An example is the S-adenosyl-L-methionine-Δ24-sterol methyltransferase. This mitochondrial enzyme is involved in the 24-alkylation of lanosterol or zymosterol, a step not present in mammalian cells.


Cholesterol NADPH Candida Triazole Aspergillosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Moereels
    • 1
  • H. Vanden Bossche
    • 2
  • P. Marichal
    • 2
  1. 1.Theoretical Medicinal ChemistryJanssen Research FoundationBeerseBelgium
  2. 2.Departments of Comparative BiochemistryJanssen Research FoundationBeerseBelgium

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