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J Invest Dermatol. 1993 Mar;100(3):343-6.

Direct interaction of antifungal azole-derivatives with calmodulin: a possible mechanism for their therapeutic activity.

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Department of Dermatology, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Azole derivatives, such as ketoconazole and bifonazole, are well-established antifungal drugs. Recently, these compounds have been reported to have therapeutic efficacy also in inflammatory skin disorders. There is increasing evidence that calmodulin is involved in fungal infections as well as in inflammatory skin diseases. Therefore, we investigated the effects of various antifungal drugs on calmodulin activity, using calmodulin-dependent phosphodiesterase as an indicator for the calmodulin activity. All azole derivatives tested competitively inhibited calmodulin activity with 50% inhibitory concentration values in the low micromolar range. In contrast, antifungal drugs belonging to other chemical classes did not display inhibitory activity. Thus, this study provides evidence that direct interaction with calmodulin might contribute to the therapeutic activity of azole derivatives, particularly to their efficacy in the treatment of inflammatory skin disorders.

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