Eur J Med Chem 2012 Feb 9;48:363-70. Epub 2011 Dec 9.
Enzyme Kinetics Lab, Department of Biosciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi 110025, India.
Azoles are generally fungistatic, and resistance to fluconazole is emerging in several fungal pathogens. We designed a series of cinnamaldehyde based sulfonyl tetrazole derivatives. To further explore the antifungal activity, in vitro studies were conducted against 60 clinical isolates and 6 standard laboratory strains of Candida. The rapid irreversible action of these compounds on fungal cells suggested a membrane-located target for their action. Results obtained indicate plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase as site of action of the synthesized compounds. Inhibition of H(+)-ATPase leads to intracellular acidification and cell death. Presence of chloro and nitro groups on the sulfonyl pendant has been demonstrated to be a key structural element of antifungal potency. SEM micrographs of treated Candida cells showed severe cell breakage and alterations in morphology.