New Antifungal Molecule Kills Fungi Without Toxicity in Human Cells, Mice

The mechanism for a critical but highly toxic antifungal is revealed in high resolution. Self-assembled Amphotericin B sponges (depicted in light blue) rapidly extract sterols (depicted in orange and white) from cells. This atomic level understanding yielded a novel kidney-sparing antifungal agent.
(Image by Jose Vazquez.)
A new antifungal molecule, devised by tweaking the structure of the prominent antifungal drug amphotericin B, has the potential to harness the drug’s power against fungal infections while doing away with its toxicity, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison reported on November 8, 2023 in Nature. The article is titled “Tuning Sterol Extraction Kinetics Yields a Renal-Sparing Polyene Antifungal.”
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