Enhancement of the Antifungal Activity of Chitinase by Palmitoylation and the Synergy of Palmitoylated Chitinase with Amphotericin B

Pugoh Santoso, Kosuke Minamihata, Yugo Ishimine, Hiromasa Taniguchi, Takuya Komada, Ryo Sato, Masahiro Goto, Tomoya Takashima, Toki Taira, Noriho Kamiya

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Combinations of antifungal drugs can have synergistic antifungal activity, achieving high therapeutic efficacy while minimizing the side effects. Amphotericin B (AMB) has been used as a standard antifungal drug for fungal infections; however, because of its high toxicity, new strategies to minimize the required dose are desirable. Chitinases have recently received attention as alternative safe antifungal agents. Herein, we report the combination of palmitoylated chitinase domains with AMB to enhance the antifungal activity. The chitin-binding domain (LysM) from Pteris ryukyuensis chitinase was site-specifically palmitoylated by conjugation reaction catalyzed by microbial transglutaminase. The palmitoylated LysM (LysM-Pal) exhibited strong antifungal activity against Trichoderma viride, inhibiting the growth completely at a concentration of 2 μM. This antifungal effect of LysM-Pal was mainly due to the effect of anchoring of palmitic acid motif to the plasma membrane of fungi. A combination of AMB with LysM-Pal resulted in synergistic enhancement of the antifungal activity. Intriguingly, LysM-Pal exhibited higher level of antifungal activity enhancement than palmitoylated catalytic domain (CatD) and fusion of LysM and CatD. Addition of 0.5 μM LysM-Pal to AMB reduced the minimal inhibition concentration of AMB to 0.31 μM (2.5 μM without LysM-Pal). The possible mechanism of the synergistic effect of AMB and LysM-Pal is destabilization of the plasma membrane by anchoring of palmitic acid and ergosterol extraction by AMB and destabilization of the chitin layer by LysM binding. The combination of LysM-Pal with AMB can drastically reduce the dose of AMB and may be a useful strategy to treat fungal infections.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases


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