Atomic Structure of Antifungal Drug (Amphotericin B) Confirms Unusual Mechanism, Opens Door to Less-Toxic Derivatives

Advanced molecular imaging technology has now mapped the structure of a drug widely used to treat fungal infections, but whose workings have mystified researchers and physicians for nearly 70 years. In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW-Madison); and the National Institutes of Health described in atomistic detail the structure of the drug amphotericin B (AmB), a powerful, but toxic, antifungal agent. Seeing the structure provides illumination in the researchers’ quest to formulate less-toxic AmB derivatives, said Dr. Martin D. Burke, a Professor of Chemistry at Illinois and a member of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, as well as a medical doctor. Dr. Burke co-led the study with Chad Rienstra, PhD, a Professor of Biochemistry at UW-Madison, and Taras Pogorelov, PhD, an Illinois research Professor of Chemistry. The researchers reported their findings online on December 9, 2021 in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. The article is titledFungicidal Amphotericin B Sponges Are Assemblies of Staggered Asymmetric Homodimers Encasing Large Void Volumes.”

Login Or Register To Read Full Story