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Fungal extracellular vesicles: immunomodulation and cellular communication


Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) play an important role in export systems. They act as vehicles for the transference of complex cargoes with broad biological functions. These vesicles cross the fungal cell wall to reach the extracellular space and transport its major virulence factors contributing to fungal infection outcomes. Since we had the FAPESP young investigator grant phase 1, our group has demonstrated that fungal EVs exerts immunomodulatory functions during fungus-host interactions and mediate intra-species cellular communication. Furthermore, we have verified that fungal EVs may also plays crucial roles regarding to inter-species cellular communication. These observations motivate the proposal to study the fungal inter-species cellular communication, and to better understand the role of fungal EVs in immunomodulation and intra-species cellular communication. More specifically, we propose to do the following aims: (1) to clarify the immunomodulatory properties of EVs from C. neoformans, P. brasiliensis, A. fumigatus, and C. albicans; (2) to dissect the responsible interactions of EVs from C. neoformans, P. brasiliensis, A. fumigatus, and C. albicans in intra- and inter-species communication by several approaches. Our expectation is that fungal EVs are responsible for important functions on fungal infection process. Thus, the development of this young investigators grants phase 2 will consolidate the EVs research line initiated by FAPESP and will provide opportunities to develop new strategies against fungal infections. (AU)

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