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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(11), 13867-13880; doi:10.3390/ijms131113867

Enhancement of Commercial Antifungal Agents by Kojic Acid

1,* , 2
1 Plant Mycotoxin Research Unit, Western Regional Research Center, USDA-ARS, 800 Buchanan St., Albany, CA 94710, USA 2 Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, Southern Regional Research Center, USDA-ARS, 1100 Robert E. Lee Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70124, USA 3 Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical/CREM, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal 4 Department of Forest Products and Biotechnology, College of Forest Sciences, Kookmin University, Seoul 136-702, Korea
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 September 2012 / Revised: 15 October 2012 / Accepted: 23 October 2012 / Published: 26 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Natural compounds that pose no significant medical or environmental side effects are potential sources of antifungal agents, either in their nascent form or as structural backbones for more effective derivatives. Kojic acid (KA) is one such compound. It is a natural by-product of fungal fermentation commonly employed by food and cosmetic industries. We show that KA greatly lowers minimum inhibitory (MIC) or fungicidal (MFC) concentrations of commercial medicinal and agricultural antifungal agents, amphotericin B (AMB) and strobilurin, respectively, against pathogenic yeasts and filamentous fungi. Assays using two mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) mutants, i.e., sakA∆, mpkC∆, of Aspergillus fumigatus, an agent for human invasive aspergillosis, with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or AMB indicate such chemosensitizing activity of KA is most conceivably through disruption of fungal antioxidation systems. KA could be developed as a chemosensitizer to enhance efficacy of certain conventional antifungal drugs or fungicides.
Keywords: Kojic acid; hydrogen peroxide; amphotericin B; strobilurin; chemosensitization Kojic acid; hydrogen peroxide; amphotericin B; strobilurin; chemosensitization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kim, J.H.; Chang, P.-K.; Chan, K.L.; Faria, N.C.G.; Mahoney, N.; Kim, Y.K.; Martins, M.L.; Campbell, B.C. Enhancement of Commercial Antifungal Agents by Kojic Acid. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 13867-13880.

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