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Open Access Genomic Identification of Potential Targets Unique to Candida albicans for the Discovery of Antifungal Agents

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Despite of modern antifungal therapy, the mortality rates of invasive infection with human fungal pathogen Candida albicans are up to 40%. Studies suggest that drug resistance in the three most common species of human fungal pathogens viz., C. albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus (causing mortality rate up to 90%) and Cryptococcus neoformans (causing mortality rate up to 70%) is due to mutations in the target enzymes or high expression of drug transporter genes. Drug resistance in human fungal pathogens has led to an imperative need for the identification of new targets unique to fungal pathogens. In the present study, we have used a comparative genomics approach to find out potential target proteins unique to C. albicans, an opportunistic fungus responsible for severe infection in immune-compromised human. Interestingly, many target proteins of existing antifungal agents showed orthologs in human cells. To identify unique proteins, we have compared proteome of C. albicans [SC5314] i.e., 14,633 total proteins retrieved from the RefSeq database of NCBI, USA with proteome of human and non-pathogenic yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Results showed that 4,568 proteins were identified unique to C. albicans as compared to those of human and later when these unique proteins were compared with S. cerevisiae proteome, finally 2,161 proteins were identified as unique proteins and after removing repeats total 1,618 unique proteins (42 functionally known, 1,566 hypothetical and 10 unknown) were selected as potential antifungal drug targets unique to C. albicans.
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Keywords: Antifungal agents; Candida albicans; comparative genomics; drugs; proteome; targets

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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