Biochemical Aspects of Ergosterol Biosynthesis Inhibition

  • Keith Barrett-Bee
  • Neil Ryder


The major product of sterol biosynthesis in fungi and some trypanosomes is ergosterol, unlike in mammalian systems which synthesize cholesterol as the major membrane lipid (12, 13). The two sterols differ in a few minor ways: cholesterol has a second double bond (Δ5(6)) in the B ring (Figure 16.1) and has a fully saturated side chain without a methyl group at C24. These small differences are clearly very important as ergosterol has been shown to be essential for the aerobic growth of most fungi. This requirement is demonstrated by the sparking phenomenon discussed by Nes et al. (55), who described the essential structural parts of the sterol molecule needed for growth. Some fungi, however ( Pythium and Phytophthora ), use an alternative terpene-like compound instead of sterols (33).


Candida Albicans Antifungal Agent Biochemical Aspect Sterol Biosynthesis Ergosterol Biosynthesis 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Barrett-Bee
  • Neil Ryder

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