Synergistic effects of vorinostat (SAHA) and azoles against Aspergillus species and their biofilms.

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Synergistic effects of vorinostat (SAHA) and azoles against Aspergillus species and their biofilms.

BMC Microbiol. 2020 Feb 07;20(1):28

Authors: Tu B, Yin G, Li H

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Invasive aspergillosis is a fungal infection that occurs mainly in immunocompromised patients. It is responsible for a high degree of mortality and is invariably unresponsive to conventional antifungal treatments. Histone deacetylase inhibitors can affect the cell cycle, apoptosis and differentiation. The histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat (SAHA) has recently received approval for the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma. Here, we investigated the interactions of SAHA and itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole against Aspergillus spp. in vitro using both planktonic cells and biofilms.
RESULTS: We investigated 20 clinical strains using broth microdilution checkerboard methods. The results showed synergy between SAHA and itraconazole, voriconazole, and posaconazole against 60, 40, and 25% of tested isolates of planktonic Aspergillus spp., respectively. Similar synergy was also observed against Aspergillus biofilms. The expression of the azole-associated multidrug efflux pumps MDR1, MDR2, MDR3 and MDR4, as well as that of HSP90, was measured by RT-PCR. The results indicated that the molecular mechanism of the observed synergistic effects in Aspergillus fumigatus may be partly associated with dampened expression of the efflux pump genes and, furthermore, that HSP90 suppression may be a major contributor to the observed synergistic effects of the drugs.
CONCLUSIONS: SAHA has potential as a secondary treatment to enhance the effects of azoles against both biofilm and planktonic cells of Aspergillus spp. in vitro. This effect occurs mostly by inhibition of HSP90 expression.

PMID: 32028887 [PubMed – in process]

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