Author(s): Palmeira VF, Kneipp LF, Rozental S, Alviano CS, Santos AL
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Fonsecaea pedrosoi is the principal etiologic agent of chromoblastomycosis, a fungal disease whose pathogenic events are poorly understood. Current therapy for chromoblastomycosis is suboptimal due to toxicity of the available therapeutic agents and the emergence of drug resistance. Compounding these problems is the fact that endemic countries and regions are economically poor. PURPOSE AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present work, we have investigated the effect of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) peptidase inhibitors (PIs) on the F. pedrosoi conidial secreted peptidase, growth, ultrastructure and interaction with different mammalian cells. All the PIs impaired the acidic conidial-derived peptidase activity in a dose-dependent fashion, in which nelfinavir produced the best inhibitory effect. F. pedrosoi growth was also significantly reduced upon exposure to PIs, especially nelfinavir and saquinavir. PIs treatment caused profound changes in the conidial ultrastructure as shown by transmission electron microscopy, including invaginations in the cytoplasmic membrane, disorder and detachment of the cell wall, enlargement of fungi cytoplasmic vacuoles, and abnormal cell division. The synergistic action on growth ability between nelfinavir and amphotericin B, when both were used at sub-inhibitory concentrations, was also observed. PIs reduced the adhesion and endocytic indexes during the interaction between conidia and epithelial cells (CHO), fibroblasts or macrophages, in a cell type-dependent manner. Moreover, PIs interfered with the conidia into mycelia transformation when in contact with CHO and with the susceptibility killing by macrophage cells. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Overall, by providing the first evidence that HIV PIs directly affects F. pedrosoi development and virulence, these data add new insights on the wide-spectrum efficacy of HIV PIs, further arguing for the potential chemotherapeutic targets for aspartyl-type peptidase produced by this human pathogen.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Antimicrobial Agents