Nontoxic antimicrobials that evade drug resistance

Stephen A. Davis, Benjamin M. Vincent, Matthew M. Endo, Luke Whitesell, Karen Marchillo, David R. Andes, Susan Lindquist, Martin D. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Drugs that act more promiscuously provide fewer routes for the emergence of resistant mutants. This benefit, however, often comes at the cost of serious off-target and dose-limiting toxicities. The classic example is the antifungal amphotericin B (AmB), which has evaded resistance for more than half a century. We report markedly less toxic amphotericins that nevertheless evade resistance. They are scalably accessed in just three steps from the natural product, and they bind their target (the fungal sterol ergosterol) with far greater selectivity than AmB. Hence, they are less toxic and far more effective in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis. To our surprise, exhaustive efforts to select for mutants resistant to these more selective compounds revealed that they are just as impervious to resistance as AmB. Thus, highly selective cytocidal action and the evasion of resistance are not mutually exclusive, suggesting practical routes to the discovery of less toxic, resistance-evasive therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-487
Number of pages7
JournalNature chemical biology
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 20 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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