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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Jul 2;319(3):911-9.

Molecular cloning and biochemical characterization of Candida albicans acyl-CoA:sterol acyltransferase, a potential target of antifungal agents.

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Department of Biochemistry, Yonsei Proteome Research Center, and Biomedical Proteome Research Center, Yonsei University, 134 Shinchon-dong, Sudaemoon-ku, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea.


To determine whether Candida albicans acyl CoA:sterol acyltransferase (ASAT) can be a potential target enzyme for the protoberberine derivative (HWY-289), we have isolated a gene encoding Ca-ASAT and examined inhibitory effects of HWY-289 on the overexpressed Ca-ASAT. HWY-289 specifically inhibits Ca-ASAT in a non-competitive manner in vitro (IC(50) [9.2microM], K(i) [5.15microM]). The cloned CaARE2 gene (1830 nucleotides [nt]) encodes active Ca-ASAT protein that exhibits a calculated molecular mass of 71.3kDa. The amino acid sequence of CaAre2p is 33.4% and 35.1% identical to those of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ScAre1p and ScAre2p homologues, respectively. Recombinant and endogenous Ca-ASAT displayed identical patterns of inhibition upon exposure to HWY-289 and a preference for cholesterol and oleoyl-CoA as substrates. Northern blot analysis showed that CaARE2 was activated by HWY-289, but not by CI-976 (a human acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase inhibitor), in a dose-dependent manner (up to 5mg/L), suggesting different selectivities of action between HWY-289 and CI-976 on Ca-ASAT activity.

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