DC-SIGN targets amphotericin B-loaded liposomes to diverse pathogenic fungi

Fungal Biol Biotechnol. 2021 Dec 24;8(1):22. doi: 10.1186/s40694-021-00126-3.


BACKGROUND: Life-threatening invasive fungal infections are treated with antifungal drugs such as Amphotericin B (AmB) loaded liposomes. Our goal herein was to show that targeting liposomal AmB to fungal cells with the C-type lectin pathogen recognition receptor DC-SIGN improves antifungal activity. DC-SIGN binds variously crosslinked mannose-rich and fucosylated glycans and lipomannans that are expressed by helminth, protist, fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens including three of the most life-threatening fungi, Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans. Ligand recognition by human DC-SIGN is provided by a carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) linked to the membrane transit and signaling sequences. Different combinations of the eight neck repeats (NR1 to NR8) expressed in different protein isoforms may alter the orientation of the CRD to enhance its binding to different glycans.

RESULTS: We prepared two recombinant isoforms combining the CRD with NR1 and NR2 in isoform DCS12 and with NR7 and NR8 in isoform DCS78 and coupled them to a lipid carrier. These constructs were inserted into the membrane of pegylated AmB loaded liposomes AmB-LLs to produce DCS12-AmB-LLs and DCS78-AmB-LLs. Relative to AmB-LLs and Bovine Serum Albumin coated BSA-AmB-LLs, DCS12-AmB-LLs and DCS78-AmB-LLs bound more efficiently to the exopolysaccharide matrices produced by A. fumigatus, C. albicans and C. neoformans in vitro, with DCS12-AmB-LLs performing better than DCS78-AmB-LLs. DCS12-AmB-LLs inhibited and/or killed all three species in vitro significantly better than AmB-LLs or BSA-AmB-LLs. In mouse models of invasive candidiasis and pulmonary aspergillosis, one low dose of DCS12-AmB-LLs significantly reduced the fungal burden in the kidneys and lungs, respectively, several-fold relative to AmB-LLs.

CONCLUSIONS: DC-SIGN’s CRD specifically targeted antifungal liposomes to three highly evolutionarily diverse pathogenic fungi and enhanced the antifungal efficacy of liposomal AmB both in vitro and in vivo. Targeting significantly reduced the effective dose of antifungal drug, which may reduce drug toxicity, be effective in overcoming dose dependent drug resistance, and more effectively kill persister cells. In addition to fungi, DC-SIGN targeting of liposomal packaged anti-infectives have the potential to alter treatment paradigms for a wide variety of pathogens from different kingdoms including protozoans, helminths, bacteria, and viruses which express its cognate ligands.

PMID:34952645 | DOI:10.1186/s40694-021-00126-3

Source: Industry