The quinoline bromoquinol exhibits broad-spectrum antifungal activity and induces oxidative stress and apoptosis in Aspergillus fumigatus

Dafna Ben Yaakov, Yana Shadkchan, Nathaniel Albert, Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis, Nir Osherov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Over the last 30 years, the number of invasive fungal infections among immunosuppressed patients has increased significantly, while the number of effective systemic antifungal drugs remains low. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize antifungal compounds that inhibit fungus-specific metabolic pathways not conserved in humans.Methods: We screened a diverse compound library for antifungal activity in the pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus. We determined the in vitro activity of bromoquinol by MIC determination against a panel of fungi, bacteria and cell lines. The mode of action of bromoquinol was determined by screening an Aspergillus nidulans overexpression genomic library for resistance-conferring genes and by RNAseq analysis in A. fumigatus. In vivo efficacy was tested in Galleria mellonella and murine models of A. fumigatus infection.Results: Screening of a diverse chemical library identified three compounds interfering with fungal iron utilization. The most potent, bromoquinol, shows potent wide-spectrum antifungal activity that was blocked in the presence of exogenous iron. Mode-of-action analysis revealed that overexpression of the dba secondary metabolite cluster gene dbaD, encoding a metabolite transporter, confers bromoquinol resistance in A. nidulans, possibly by efflux. RNAseq analysis and subsequent experimental validation revealed that bromoquinol induces oxidative stress and apoptosis in A. fumigatus. Bromoquinol significantly reduced mortality rates of G. mellonella infected with A. fumigatus, but was ineffective in a murine model of infection.Conclusions: Bromoquinol is a promising antifungal candidate with a unique mode of action. Its activity is potentiated by iron starvation, as occurs during in vivo growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdkx117
Pages (from-to)2263-2272
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Volume72
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

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