Comparative analysis of calcineurin signaling between Candida dubliniensis and Candida albicans
Candida dubliniensis, an emerging fungal pathogen, is the closest known species to the established pathogenic species Candida albicans. Despite the fact that these two species share.80% genome sequence identity, they exhibit distinct properties such as less hyphal growth, reduced pathogenicity and increased sensitivity to sodium stress and elevated temperatures in C. dubliniensis compared with C. albicans. It is, however, largely unknown whether signaling pathways are conserved in the two Candida species. Calcineurin signaling is known to be required for hyphal growth in Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus fumigatus but remains elusive in C. albicans. Our recent study showed that calcineurin plays a clearly demonstrable role in controlling hyphal growth, drug tolerance and virulence in C. dubliniensis. Here, we extend our studies and show that calcineurin is conserved in controlling endoplasmic reticulum stress but distinct in governing pH homeostasis. Furthermore, we demonstrate that azole or echinocandin drugs in combination with the calcineurin inhibitor FK506 exhibit a synergistic effect against C. dubliniensis wild-type and echinocandin-resistant strains. The involvement of calcineurin in a variety of fungal virulence attributes and as a target for fungicidal synergism with azoles and echinocandins highlights the potential of combination therapy with calcineurin inhibitors for treating Candida infections. © 2012 Landes Bioscience.
Zhang, J; Heitman, J; Chen, YL
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