Antifungal activity of the primycin complex and its main components A1, A2 and C1 on a Candida albicans clinical isolate, and their effects on the dynamic plasma membrane changes

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The in vitro antifungal activities of the macrolide lactone antibiotic complex primycin (PC) and its main components, A1 (50%), A2 (7.3%) and C1 (13%), against the opportunistic pathogenic fungus Candida albicans 33erg + were determined by microdilution testing. The MIC 100 (the minimal concentration required for 100% growth inhibition) values found, A2 (2 μg ml-1), PC (32 μg ml-1), A1 (32 μg ml-1) and C1 (64 μg ml-1), suggested that the biological activity of PC is highly dependent on the proportions of its constituents. In vivo measurements of the biophysical properties of plasma membranes were carried out by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopic methods, using the spin probe 5-(4,4-dimethyloxazolidine-N-oxyl) stearic acid. Conventional EPR measurements demonstrated altered phase transition temperatures (Tm) of the plasma membrane of strain 33erg + as a consequence of treatment with PC or its constituents: for cells treated with 128 μg ml-1 PC, A1, A2 or C1 for 15 min, Tm was 17, 21, 14.5 and 15 °C, respectively; that is significantly higher than the Tm of untreated cells, 12 °C. The molecular motions of the near-surface hydrophobic region of the plasma membrane, estimated by saturation transfer EPR spectroscopy, reflected changes in the membrane phases after the treatment. Two physiological membrane phases were detected in control samples: liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered, characterized by molecular movements ∼10-6-10-8 s and ≥10-9 s. The cells treated with the investigated compounds showed the strong presence of a non-physiological gel phase additional to the above phases, characterized by movements ≤10-5 s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Antibiotics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2013



  • 5-SASL
  • Candida albicans
  • EPR
  • ST-EPR
  • antifungal
  • membrane fluidity
  • primycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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