Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 107–114 | Cite as

Inhibition and killing of fungi by the polyamine oxidase-polyamine system

Antifungal activity of the PAO-polyamine system
  • Stuart M. Levitz
  • David J. DiBenedetto
  • Richard D. Diamond


Both components of the polyamine oxidase (PAO)-polyamine system are known to be present in phagocytes and have thus been postulated to contribute to the antimicrobial activity of these cells. Therefore, the effects of the PAO-polyamine system on three medically important opportunistic fungi were examined. Yeasts of Cryptococcus neoformans, but not Candida albicans blastoconidia or Aspergillus fumigatus conidia, were efficiently killed by the system. Two putative end products of the system, hydrogen peroxide and acrolein, both killed C. neoformans at concentrations attainable with the whole system. However, catalase failed to inhibit activity of the whole system, making hydrogen peroxide an unlikely mediator of killing. Although C. albicans blastoconidia and A. fumigatus conidia were not killed by the PAO-polyamine system, germ tube formation by the former, and hyphal growth by the latter, were markedly inhibited. These data establish that the PAO-polyamine system possesses antifungal activity.

Key words

Aspergillus fumigatus Candida albicans Cryptococcus neoformans fungi polyamine polyamine oxidase 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart M. Levitz
    • 1
    • 2
  • David J. DiBenedetto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Richard D. Diamond
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Evans Memorial Department of Clinical ResearchThe University Hospital, Boston University Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.the Department of MedicineThe University Hospital, Boston University Medical CenterBostonUSA

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