Adaptation to iron deficiency in human pathogenic fungi.

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Adaptation to iron deficiency in human pathogenic fungi.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2020 Jul 11;:118797

Authors: Martínez-Pastor MT, Puig S

Iron is an essential micronutrient for virtually all eukaryotic organisms that play a central role during microbial infections. Invasive fungal diseases are associated with strikingly high rates of mortality, but their impact on human health is usually underestimated. Upon a fungal infection, hosts restrict iron availability in order to limit the growth and virulence of the pathogen. Here, we use two model yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, to delve into the response to iron deficiency of the most significant human fungal pathogens, such as Candida glabrata, Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus neoformans. Fungi possess common and species-specific mechanisms to acquire iron and to control the response to iron limitation. Upon iron scarcity, fungi activate a wide range of elegant strategies to capture and import exogenous iron, mobilize iron from intracellular stores, and modulate their metabolism to economize and prioritize iron utilization. Hence, iron homeostasis genes represent remarkable virulence factors that can be used as targets for the development of novel antifungal treatments.

PMID: 32663505 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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