Broad-spectrum antifungal activities and mechanism of drimane sesquiterpenoids.
Microb Cell. 2020 Mar 12;7(6):146-159
Authors: Edouarzin E, Horn C, Paudyal A, Zhang C, Lu J, Tong Z, Giaever G, Nislow C, Veerapandian R, Hua DH, Vediyappan G
Eight drimane sesquiterpenoids including (-)-drimenol and (+)-albicanol were synthesized from (+)-sclareolide and evaluated for their antifungal activities. Three compounds, (-)-drimenol, (+)-albicanol, and (1R,2R,4aS,8aS)-2-hydroxy-2,5,5,8a-tetramethyl-decahydronaphthalene-1-carbaldehyde (4) showed strong activity against C. albicans. (-)-Drimenol, the strongest inhibitor of the three, (at concentrations of 8 – 64 µg/ml, causing 100% death of various fungi), acts not only against C. albicans in a fungicidal manner, but also inhibits other fungi such as Aspergillus, Cryptococcus, Pneumocystis, Blastomyces, Saksenaea and fluconazole resistant strains of C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. krusei, C. parapsilosis and C. auris. These observations suggest that drimenol is a broad-spectrum antifungal agent. At a high concentration (100 μg/ml) drimenol caused rupture of the fungal cell wall/membrane. In a nematode model of C. albicans infection, drimenol rescued the worms from C. albicans-mediated death, indicating drimenol is tolerable and bioactive in metazoans. Genome-wide fitness profiling assays of both S. cerevisiae (nonessential homozygous and essential heterozygous) and C. albicans (Tn-insertion mutants) collections revealed putative genes and pathways affected by drimenol. Using a C. albicans mutant spot assay, the Crk1 kinase associated gene products, Ret2, Cdc37, and orf19.759, orf19.1672, and orf19.4382 were revealed to be involved in drimenol’s mechanism of action. The three orfs identified in this study are novel and appear to be linked with Crk1 function. Further, computational modeling results suggest possible modifications of the structure of drimenol, including the A ring, for improving the antifungal activity.
PMID: 32548177 [PubMed]