Flucytosine (5-flucytosine, Ancobon) is an antifungal agent used for treatment of serious fungal infections caused by Candida or Cryptococcus. A fluorinated cytosine analog it was originally developed as an anti-tumor agent, but was found to be non-effective against tumors. Monotherapy with 5-FC is limited because of the frequent development of pathogens resistance. It is often used in in combination with amphotericin B. The severe side effects of 5-flucytosine include hepatotoxicity and bone-marrow depression. 5-fluorocytosine is a prodrug to the cytotoxic compound 5-fluorouracil. Although the exact mode of action is unknown, it has been proposed that flucytosine acts directly on fungal organisms by competitive inhibition of purine and pyrimidine uptake and indirectly by intracellular metabolism to 5-fluorouracil. Flucytosine is taken up by fungal organisms via the enzyme cytosine permease. Inside the fungal cell, flucytosine is rapidly converted to fluorouracil by the enzyme cytosine deaminase. Fluorouracil exerts its antifungal activity through the subsequent conversion into several active metabolites, which inhibit protein synthesis by being falsely incorporated into fungal RNA or interfere with the biosynthesis of fungal DNA through the inhibition of the enzyme thymidylate synthetase. NCATS
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