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Journal/Book Title


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Public Library of Science






A novel aminoglycoside, FG08, that differs from kanamycin B only by a C8 alkyl chain at the 4″-O position, was previously reported. Unlike kanamycin B, FG08 shows broad-spectrum fungicidal but not anti-bacterial activities. To understand its specificity for fungi, the mechanism of action of FG08 was studied using intact cells of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and small unilamellar membrane vesicles. With exposure to FG08 (30 µg mL−1), 8-fold more cells were stained with fluorescein isothiocyanate, cells had 4 to 6-fold higher K+ efflux rates, and 18-fold more cells were stained with SYTOX Green in comparison to exposure to kanamycin B (30 µg mL−1). Yeast mutants with aberrant membrane sphingolipids (no sphingoid base C4 hydroxyl group, truncated very long fatty acid chain, or lacking the terminal phosphorylinositol group of mannosyl-diinositolphosphorylphytoceramide were 4 to 8-fold less susceptible to growth inhibition with FG08 and showed 2 to 10-fold lower SYTOX Green dye uptake rates than did the isogenic wild-type strain. FG08 caused leakage of pre-loaded calcein from 50% of small unilamellar vesicles with glycerophospholipid and sterol compositions that mimic the compositions of fungal plasma membranes. Less than 5 and 10% of vesicles with glycerophospholipid and sterol compositions that mimic bacterial and mammalian cell plasma membranes, respectively, showed calcein leakage. In tetrazolium dye cytotoxicity tests, mammalian cell lines NIH3T3 and C8161.9 showed FG08 toxicity at concentrations that were 10 to 20-fold higher than fungicidal minimal inhibitory concentrations. It is concluded that FG08’s growth inhibitory specificity for fungi lie in plasma membrane permeability changes involving mechanisms that are modulated by membrane lipid composition.


e73843. PubMed PMID: 24040088; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3769384.



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