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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antifungal azoxybacilin exhibits activity by inhibiting gene expression of sulfite reductase.

Azoxybacilin, produced by Bacillus cereus, has a broad spectrum of antifungal activity in methionine-free medium and has been suggested to inhibit sulfite fixation. We have further investigated the mode of action by which azoxybacilin kills fungi. The compound inhibited the incorporation of [35S] sulfate into acid-insoluble fractions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae under conditions in which virtually no inhibition was observed for DNA, RNA, or protein synthesis. It did not interfere with the activity of the enzymes for sulfate assimilation but clearly inhibited the induction of those enzymes when S. cerevisiae cells were transferred from rich medium to a synthetic methionine-free medium. Particularly strong inhibition was observed in the induction of sulfite reductase. Northern (RNA) analysis revealed that azoxybacilin decreased the level of mRNA of genes for sulfate assimilation, including MET10 for sulfite reductase and MET4, the transactivator of MET10 and other sulfate assimilation genes. When activities of azoxybacilin were compared for mRNA and enzyme syntheses from MET10, the concentration required for inhibition of transcription of the gene was about 10 times higher (50% inhibitory concentration = 30 micrograms/ml) than that required for inhibition of induction of enzyme synthesis (50% inhibitory concentration = 3 micrograms/ml). The data suggest that azoxybacilin acts on at least two steps in the expression of sulfite reductase; the transcriptional activation of MET4 and a posttranscriptional regulation in MET10 expression. We conclude that azoxybacilin exhibits antifungal activity by interfering with the regulation of expression of sulfite reductase activity.[1]


  1. Antifungal azoxybacilin exhibits activity by inhibiting gene expression of sulfite reductase. Aoki, Y., Yamamoto, M., Hosseini-Mazinani, S.M., Koshikawa, N., Sugimoto, K., Arisawa, M. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1996) [Pubmed]
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