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Calcineurin Orchestrates Hyphal Growth, Septation, Drug Resistance and Pathogenesis of Aspergillus fumigatus: Where Do We Go from Here?

Authors
  • Juvvadi, Praveen R1
  • Steinbach, William J2, 3
  • 1 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. [email protected]
  • 3 Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland)
Publication Date
Dec 16, 2015
Volume
4
Issue
4
Pages
883–893
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/pathogens4040883
PMID: 26694470
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Studies on fungal pathogens belonging to the ascomycota phylum are critical given the ubiquity and frequency with which these fungi cause infections in humans. Among these species, Aspergillus fumigatus causes invasive aspergillosis, a leading cause of death in immunocompromised patients. Fundamental to A. fumigatus pathogenesis is hyphal growth. However, the precise mechanisms underlying hyphal growth and virulence are poorly understood. Over the past 10 years, our research towards the identification of molecular targets responsible for hyphal growth, drug resistance and virulence led to the elucidation of calcineurin as a key signaling molecule governing these processes. In this review, we summarize our salient findings on the significance of calcineurin for hyphal growth and septation in A. fumigatus and propose future perspectives on exploiting this pathway for designing new fungal-specific therapeutics.

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