Nucleic Acid Synthesis

Nucleic acid synthesis is a common feature of all eukaryotic cells, which generally makes it a poor target for antifungal drugs. The drug flucytosine, however, is taken up by yeast cells and then converted by yeast enzymes to an active, inhibitory form.


Flucytosine is a synthetic derivative of cytosine, one of the pyrim-idines found in nucleic acids. Enzymes within infecting yeast cells convert flucytosine to 5-fluorouracil, which inhibits an enzyme required for nucleic acid synthesis. Unfortunately, resistant mutants are common, and therefore, flucytosine is used mostly in combination with amphotericin B or as an alternative drug for patients with systemic yeast infections who are unable to tolerate ampho-tericin B. Flucytosine is not effective against molds.

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