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Molecular mechanisms associated with pathogenicity and resistance in fungi: strategies for treating dermatophytosis

Grant number: 19/22596-9
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: May 01, 2020 - April 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Nilce Maria Martinez-Rossi
Grantee:Nilce Maria Martinez-Rossi
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Co-Principal Investigators:Antonio Rossi Filho
Assoc. researchers:Fausto Bruno dos Reis Almeida ; Pablo Rodrigo Sanches


Dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum is the pathogenic fungus with the highest incidence in clinical cases of superficial mycoses in human skin and nails. Although these infections are widespread, the mechanisms associated with successful pathogen-host interaction and drug resistance factors remain misunderstood. Considerable research efforts are being undertaken, aiming at the control of infections caused by dermatophyte fungi. Which is looking for possible cellular targets that will be useful in the development of new drugs with antifungal activity. Therefore, the identification of factors involved in pathogenicity and evaluation of specific genes and modulated metabolic pathways during the infectious process are crucial. Thus, the objectives of this project are: (1) the elucidation of cellular signaling pathways regulated by StuA, Ap1, PacC, and HacA transcription factors during interaction with the host; (2) identification of factors associated with innate immune response modulation during pathogen-host interaction; (3) comparative systematic analysis of transcriptomes, aiming to identify enzymes crucial for the metabolism and adaptation of fungi to different cultivation conditions; (4) identification of possible molecular targets for antifungal development; and (5) explore and validate strategies for the treatment of dermatophytosis. Thus, we aim to contribute to a better understanding thereof the relationships established between this clinically meaningful fungus and the human host, as well as to seek viable and efficient alternatives for the treatment of dermatophytosis. (AU)