Determination of antimicrobial spectrum of K9 type yeast killer toxin and its cell killing activity

Yener, Burcu
Some yeast strains secrete extracellular polypeptide toxins known to have potential growth inhibitory activity on other sensitive yeast genera but are immune to their own toxins. These yeast strains are termed as killer yeasts and their toxins are designated as killer proteins or killer toxins. Killer phenotypes are classified into 11 typical types (K1-K11). The toxic actions of yeast killer proteins on sensitive cells show differences and one of the most important toxic actions involves the selective functional damage by hydrolyzing major cell wall components. Because mammalian cells lack a cell wall, novel highly selective antifungals tend to be harmless to people by targeting important cell wall components specific to fungi. We have previously characterized the K9 type yeast killer protein isolated from Hansenula mrakii. This protein is stable at pH and temperature values appropriate for its medical usage. Antifungal activity of this protein was tested against 23 human pathogenic yeast and 9 dermathophyte strains. Pathogenic yeast strains found to be susceptible and both the MIC and MFC values ranged from 0.25 to 8 g/ml except C. parapsilosis and C guilliermondii isolates. 9 dermatophyte strains were not susceptible to this protein and MICs were >64 g/ml. According to the cell killing analysis toxin activity starts within the first 4 hours and complete cell death was observed for the 4, 8 and 16 times the MIC concentrations at 24 hour. The results obtained from this study might make the potential use of this protein possible as a selective antimycotic agent.


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Citation Formats
B. Yener, “Determination of antimicrobial spectrum of K9 type yeast killer toxin and its cell killing activity,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2006.