Research digest: Easy to digest updates on articles published in high impact journals.
So, where does amphotericin come into this? Well, the way it kills fungi is by inserting small pores into their cells which cause various ions in the cytoplasm to leak out.
If you use the small pores made by Amphotericin in CF, would the cells that cannot move chloride be changed in any way? The researchers at the University of Illinois showed that yes, you would see a change. The addition of the drug causes the movement of chloride ions out of the cell and subsequently makes the mucus much less thick – helping kill dangerous bacteria. This shows that Amphotericin could ‘correct’ the problems cause by mutations in cystic fibrosis.
Of course, this work was conducted in laboratory and it remains to be seen whether or not it will hold up with people suffering from cystic fibrosis. But the early results do look promising.
Muraglia, K. A. et al. Small-molecule ion channels increase host defences in cystic fibrosis airway epithelia. Nature 567, 405–408 (2019).
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