SUMMARY: Tetrin A, a polyene antifungal antibiotic, induced permeability changes in the cell membrane of resulting in the loss of cell constituents, e.g. amino acids, 260 mμ absorbing material and the leakage of labelled metabolites from the organism previously grown with uniformly labelled glucose. Also, the uptake of glucose, glycine, and uracil was prevented by the antibiotic. Like other polyenes, the addition of exogenous cholesterol partially prevented the action of tetrin A, probably by the formation of a weak complex between tetrin A and cholesterol and resulting in a lower effective concentration of the antibiotic. When the non-sterol-containing fungus was grown on a medium containing cholesterol, this fungus was sensitive to filipin. However, prior growth of the fungus with cholesterol did not confer sensitivity to the polyene antibiotics tetrin A, nystatin, or pimaricin. Contrary to most polyene antibiotics which cause rapid lysis of mammalian erythrocytes even at low concentrations, tetrin A only caused partial lysis of calf red cells after long exposure to high concentrations.


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