The inhibition of squalene epoxidase by the allylamine antimycotic agents naftifine and compound SF 86-327 was investigated, with particulate enzyme preparations from the pathogenic yeasts Candida albicans and Candida parapsilosis and from rat liver. Both naftifine and compound SF 86-327 were potent inhibitors of the Candida epoxidases and showed apparently non-competitive kinetics with respect to the substrate squalene. The Ki values for naftifine and compound SF 86-327 in the C. albicans system were 1.1 microM and 0.03 microM respectively. The C. parapsilosis enzyme was slightly more sensitive to inhibition. Varying the concentrations of cofactors or the soluble cytoplasmic fraction (S200) had no effect on the inhibition. The epoxidase from rat liver was much less sensitive (Ki for compound SF 86-327 was 77 microM). The inhibition was also qualitatively different from that in Candida, being competitive with respect to squalene and also with respect to the S200 fraction. S200 fraction derived from C. albicans also antagonized the inhibition of the epoxidase from liver, but the liver S200 fraction did not affect inhibition of the Candida enzyme by compound SF 86-327. There was no evidence for an irreversible or mechanism-based inhibition of either the fungal or the mammalian epoxidase. The selective inhibition of squalene epoxidase was sufficient to account for the known antimycotic action of the compounds.

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