In order to discover and develop novel signaling inhibitors from plants, a screening system was established targeting the two-component system of Cryptococcus neoformans by using the wild type and a calcineurin mutant of C. neoformans, based on the counter-regulatory action of high-osmolarity glycerol (Hog1) mitogen-activated protein kinase and the calcineurin pathways in C. neoformans. Among 10,000 plant extracts, that from Harrisonia abyssinica Oliv. exhibited the most potent inhibitory activity against C. neoformans var. grubii H99 with fludioxonil. Bioassay-guided fractionation was used to isolate two bioactive compounds from H. abyssinica, and these compounds were identified as chebulagic acid and chebulanin using spectroscopic methods. These compounds specifically inhibited the calcineurin pathway in C. neoformans. Moreover, they exhibited potent antifungal activities against various human pathogenic fungi with minimum inhibitory concentrations ranging from 0.25 to over 64 µg/ml.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology