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The presently-disclosed IPC synthase-inhibitor assays comprise the steps of: (1) expression of the IPC1 gene in a cell; (2) introducing labeled starting substrates for ceramide conversion as well as potential inhibitor(s) of such conversion to the expressed gene product in an environment which allows time and conditions for conversion, and (3) identifying those potential inhibitors which actually inhibit conversion. The present invention also provides methods to determine the ability of a test compound to inhibit fungal growth, comprising the steps of (1) presenting active inositolphosophotidylceramide synthase in a manner such that synthesis of inositolphosphotidylceramide can occur; (2) introducing ceramide and phosphotylinositol, said ceramide or phosphatidylinositol carrying label for identification; (3) subjecting said active inositolphosophotidylceramide synthase, ceramide and phosphotylinositol to ordinary conditions necessary for ceramide conversion to phosphoinositol ceramide; and (4) identifying those test compounds which inhibit ceramide conversion to phosphoinositol ceramide.


University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, Ky., Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Ind.

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