The non-Geldanamycin Hsp90 inhibitors enhanced the antifungal activity of fluconazole

The molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is highly conserved in eukaryotes and facilitates the correct folding, productive assembly and maturation of a diverse cellular proteins. In fungi, especially the most prevalent human fungal pathogen Candida albicans, Hsp90 influences development and modulates drug resistance. Here, we mainly explore the effect of non-Geldanamycin Hsp90 inhibitor HSP990 on the activity of fluconazole (FLC) against Candida albicans and investigate the underlying mechanism. We demonstrate that HSP990 has potent synergistic antifungal activity with FLC against FLC-resistant C. albicans through the checkerboard microdilution assay,agar diffusion tests and time-kill curves, and shows low cytotoxicity to human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Further study shows that the activity of FLC against C. albicans biofilm formation in vitro is significantly enhanced when used in combination with HSP990. In a murine model of disseminated candidiasis, the therapeutic efficacy of FLC is also enhanced by the pharmacological inhibition of C. albicans Hsp90 function with HSP990. Thus, the combined use of small molecule compound and existing antifungal drugs may provide a potential therapeutic strategy for fungal infectious disease.

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