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GUMC researchers hone in on new strategy to treat common infection
Date:10/27/2008

ans or in animals, which means it could be "targeted" with a novel drug without producing toxicity because such an agent should only attack the fungus.

The researchers found that if the Ssk1 gene is deleted from Candida albicans, the "triazole" drugs that are now used to treat these diseases are much more effective in the laboratory. "This allows the triazole drugs to do their job," Calderone says. "We propose that this finding might lead to other, possibly more effective, treatment options."

In this study, the researchers used a gene microarray analysis to further understand what knocking out the Ssk1 gene does to the organism, and they discovered that the gene is critical to the pathogenic nature of the fungi.

What this means is that an Ssk1 inhibitor might work in synergy with a triazole or perhaps as an effective stand-alone drug to treat Candida infections, the researchers say. If it works in Candida, it may have broader activity in other pathogens because Ssk1p is found in other fungi.

"Using the genome of the organism to find genes to target is a logical approach to drug design," he says. The researchers are now working with other groups to find the right agent to target the Ssk1protein.


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Contact: Karen Mallet
mallet.karen@gmail.com
414-312-7085
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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