• Candida glabrata;
  • pathogenic fungus;
  • profilin;
  • antifungal drug target;
  • Tet promoter;
  • computer-aided ligand design


The emergence of antifungal drug resistance is triggering vigorous searches for novel antifungal targets and lead compounds. In this study, we focused on fungal profilin, which is a small actin control protein sharing limited homology to human profilin. To validate its potentiality as a target, a profilin-conditional mutant of the pathogenic yeast Candida glabrata was constructed, using a regulatable Tet promoter, and its growth was monitored in vitro. Repression of profilin expression led to severe growth defect, demonstrating the potential of this protein as a novel antifungal target. Next, novel peptides binding to the active interface of profilin were designed by computer simulation. ELISA analysis showed that these peptides did bind to the wild-type profilin but bound less strongly to a profilin with amino acid substitutions at the active interface. Hence, we show here that profilin is a potential antifungal target and offer novel peptide ligands. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.