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JUAN GAERTNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JUAN GAERTNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fungal enzyme blocked by a drug. Illustration of a cell membrane and a key metabolic fungal enzyme (blue) being disrupted by a drug bound to the active site of the enzyme. The enzyme is lanosterol 14 alpha-demethylase, with the inset at right showing the azole antifungal drug fluconazole (molecule at upper left in inset) interacting with a heme group (molecule at lower right in inset). Fluconazole is used to treat a range of fungal infections, and works by blocking the actions of this enzyme which is essential for the biosynthesis of ergosterol. This in turn is essential for the permeability and rigidity of the fungal plasma membrane.
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