New research reveals a mechanism underlying multidrug resistance in some fungi. Studies led by investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have revealed that a protein called Pdr1p in fungi such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida glabrata binds to antifungal drugs once they enter the cell and stimulates the fungus to pump out the drugs (Thakur JK et al. Nature. 2008;452:604-611).
Using a roundworm model system, the researchers found that worms infected with C glabrata that lacked Pdr1p could be successfully treated with antifungal medications, suggesting that targeting this protein or the gene that encodes it could restore the effectiveness of antifungal drugs.
Hampton T. Drug Resistance in Fungi. JAMA. 2008;299(17):2017. doi:10.1001/jama.299.17.2017-b