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Antifungal Resistance

Reflecting recent work in the Rubini and Murphy Labs

The pursuit of novel antifungal agents is imperative to tackle the threat of antifungal resistance, which poses major risks to both human health and to food security. Iturin A is a cyclic lipopeptide, produced by Bacillus sp., with pronounced antifungal properties against several pathogens. Its challenging synthesis, mainly due to the laborious synthesis of the β-amino fatty acid present in its structure, has hindered the study of its mode of action and the development of more potent analogues. In work published in the Journal of Peptide Science, researchers from the Rubini, and Murphy group, present a facile synthesis of bioactive iturin A analogues containing an alkylated cysteine residue.

Two analogues with opposite configurations of the alkylated cysteine residue were synthesized to evaluate the role of the stereochemistry of the newly introduced amino acid on the bioactivity. Antifungal assays, conducted against F. graminearum, showed that the novel analogues are bioactive and can be used as a synthetic model for the design of new analogues and in structure–activity relationship studies. The assays also highlight the importance of the β-amino acid in the natural structure and the role of the stereochemistry of the amino fatty acid, as the analogue with the D configuration showed stronger antifungal properties than the one with the L configuration.

Rubini Lab item

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