J Fungi (Basel) 2020 Mar 26;6(2). Epub 2020 Mar 26.
Department of Biology, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare W23F2K8, Ireland.
is a serious cause of disease in immune-deficient patients and in those with pulmonary malfunction (e.g., cystic fibrosis (CF), asthma). Atorvastatin is a member of the statin drug family, which are the main therapeutic agents used to decrease high serum cholesterol levels by inhibiting (HMG-CoA) reductase enzyme. The aim of the work presented here was to analyse the antifungal activity of atorvastatin and assess its effect on the virulence of . Atorvastatin demonstrated strong antifungal activity and reduced the growth and viability of . Exposure of to atorvastatin led to a reduction in ergosterol content and increased membrane permeability, as evidenced by the release of protein, amino acids and gliotoxin. Proteomic analysis revealed an increased abundance of proteins associated with an oxidative stress response, such as the glutathione s-transferase family protein (+8.43-fold), heat shock protein Hsp30/Hsp42 (+2.02-fold) and 5-demethoxyubiquinone hydroxylase, mitochondrial (+1.73-fold), as well as secondary metabolites such as isocyanide synthase A icsA (+8.52-fold) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase fmpE (+3.06-fold). The results presented here indicate that atorvastatin has strong antifungal properties and may have potential application in the treatment of infections alone or in combination with existing antifungal agents.