Antifungals work by exploiting differences between mammalian and fungal cells to kill off the fungal organismwithout dangerous effects on the host. Unlike bacteria,bothfungiand humans areeukaryotes.Thus fungal andhumancellsare similar at the molecular level. This means it is more difficult to find a weakness in fungi to attack that does not also exist in human cells - so, if you attack the fungus, you may also attack the human cells the funguslives on. Consequently, there are oftenside-effectsto some of these drugs. Some of these side-effects can be life-threatening if not used properly.There are several classes of antifungal drugs.
A polyene is a molecule with multiple conjugated double bonds. A polyene antifungal is a macrocyclic polyene witha heavily hydroxylated region on the ring opposite the conjugated system. This makes polyene antifungalsamphiphilic. The polyene antimycotics bind withsterolsin the fungalcell membrane, principallyergosterol. Thischanges the transition temperature (Tg) of the cell membrane, thereby placing the membrane in a less fluid, morecrystalline state. As a result, the cell's contents leak out (usually the hydrophilic contents) and the cell dies. Animalcells containcholesterolinstead of ergosterol and so they are much less susceptible. (Note: as a polyene'shydrophobic chain is shortened, its sterol binding activity is increased. Therefore, further reduction of thehydrophobic chain may result in it binding to cholesterol, making it toxic to animals.)
Natamycin-- 33 Carbons , binds well to ergosterol.