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Role of cell signaling of exosomes and miRNAs produced by macrophages during phagocytosis of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia on the mitochondrial function of lung cells.


Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprophytic fungus, which has been found in all regions of the World. It is believed that the natural ecological niche is the soil, where it survives and grows in decaying vegetables. In recent years, the A. fumigatus has emerged as one of the main opportunistic pathogens in immunosuppressed patients. During infection by microorganisms, the host cells release vesicles from membranes (among them the exosomes). Exosomes are composed by different biomolecules, including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and are rich in nucleic acids such as DNA, RNA, non-coding RNAs and microRNA. The role of the exosomes is not fully elucidated, but evidences have suggested that they participate in cell to cell communication/signaling. Very little is known about the modulation of mitochondrial function of host cells during A. fumigatus infection. Recently, mitochondrial regulation by exosomal miRNAs has been described. In this sense, the project aims are to study the role of exosomes isolated from macrophages exposed to A. fumigatus conidia, the content of miRNAs present and the influence of these miRNAs on mitochondrial function in lung cells in vitro. (AU)

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