The RIG-I-like helicase receptor MDA5 (IFIH1) is involved in the host defense against Candida infections.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The induction of host defense against Candida species is initiated by recognition of the fungi by pattern recognition receptors and activation of downstream pathways that produce inflammatory mediators essential for infection clearance. In this study, we present complementary evidence based on transcriptome analysis, genetics, and immunological studies in knockout mice and humans that the cytosolic RIG-I-like receptor MDA5 (IFIH1) has an important role in the host defense against C. albicans. Firstly, IFIH1 expression in macrophages is specifically induced by invasive C. albicans hyphae, and patients suffering from chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC) express lower levels of MDA5 than healthy controls. Secondly, there is a strong association between missense variants in the IFIH1 gene (rs1990760 and rs3747517) and susceptibility to systemic Candida infections. Thirdly, cells from Mda5 knockout mice and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with different IFIH1 genotypes display an altered cytokine response to C. albicans. These data strongly suggest that MDA5 is involved in immune responses to Candida infection. As a receptor for viral RNA, MDA5 until now has been linked to antiviral host defense, but these novel studies show unexpected effects in antifungal immunity as well. Future studies are warranted to explore the potential of MDA5 as a novel target for immunotherapeutic strategies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jaeger, M; van der Lee, R; Cheng, S-C; Johnson, MD; Kumar, V; Ng, A; Plantinga, TS; Smeekens, SP; Oosting, M; Wang, X; Barchet, W; Fitzgerald, K; Joosten, LAB; Perfect, JR; Wijmenga, C; van de Veerdonk, FL; Huynen, MA; Xavier, RJ; Kullberg, B-J; Netea, MG

Published Date

  • May 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 963 - 974

PubMed ID

  • 25579795

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5084092

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1435-4373

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10096-014-2309-2


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany