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A new 'Achilles' heel' in fungus that causes dandruff

Date:
April 25, 2012
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Research on the fungus that ranks as one cause of dandruff -- the embarrassing nuisance that, by some accounts, afflicts half of humanity -- is pointing scientists toward a much-needed new treatment for the condition's flaking and itching.
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Research on the fungus that ranks as one cause of dandruff -- the embarrassing nuisance that, by some accounts, afflicts half of humanity -- is pointing scientists toward a much-needed new treatment for the condition's flaking and itching.
Credit: © zollster / Fotolia

Research on the fungus that ranks as one cause of dandruff -- the embarrassing nuisance that, by some accounts, afflicts half of humanity -- is pointing scientists toward a much-needed new treatment for the condition's flaking and itching.

The advance is the topic of a report in ACS' Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Claudiu T. Supuran and colleagues explain that dandruff involves an excessive shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. In people without dandruff, it takes about 30 days for a crop of new skin cells to mature, die and shed. In people with dandruff, it may take only 2-7 days. Irritation by the scalp-dwelling fungus Malassezia globosa (M. globosa) is one cause of dandruff. Shampoos and other dandruff treatments contain anti-fungal agents, but the authors say new medicines are badly needed since the two existing compounds are not very effective at preventing and treating dandruff.

In the quest for a better treatment, Supuran's group identified an enzyme in M. globosa that is essential for the fungus's growth. Tests showed that sulfonamides, a family of existing antibiotic medicines, were more effective in preventing the fungus's growth than ketoconazole, a widely used anti-fungal medicine that is an ingredient in certain dandruff treatments. As a result of the study, the scientists believe that the enzyme is a prime target for developing better anti-dandruff medicines.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kirsty S. Hewitson, Daniela Vullo, Andrea Scozzafava, Antonio Mastrolorenzo, Claudiu T. Supuran. Molecular Cloning, Characterization, and Inhibition Studies of a β-Carbonic Anhydrase fromMalassezia globosa, a Potential Antidandruff Target. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2012; 55 (7): 3513 DOI: 10.1021/jm300203r

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American Chemical Society. "A new 'Achilles' heel' in fungus that causes dandruff." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140405.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2012, April 25). A new 'Achilles' heel' in fungus that causes dandruff. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140405.htm
American Chemical Society. "A new 'Achilles' heel' in fungus that causes dandruff." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140405.htm (accessed August 4, 2015).

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