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Molecular characterization of the gene encoding Msb2 signaling mucin in Aspergillus fumigatus

Grant number: 12/09480-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2012
Effective date (End): August 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Biology and Physiology of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Henrique Goldman
Grantee:Camila Siqueira Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Aspergillus fumigatus consists in an important opportunistic pathogenic fungus and second more frequent cause for fungal infections in immunocompromised patients; it is responsible for a high mortality rate in these individuals. This fungus displays a great ability to adapt to stress changes during host invasion and systemic spread. The adaptive mechanisms that confer resistance to stress may contribute to the efficient fungal colonization and persistence. Sensing and signal transduction pathways are indispensable on this process and on fungal pathogenicity. Msb2 is a transmembrane signaling mucin, important in MAPK signal transduction related to the filamentous growth and high osmolarity-glycerol pathways, which makes it a determinative factor on fungal virulence. The high osmolarity-glycerol signaling pathway is fundamental in regulating morphology, growth, and adaptation to stress as well as virulence in a number of fungal pathogens, representing thus, a possible target for new drugs. Therefore, this study will be developed aiming to investigate the role of the transmembrane protein Msb2 in MAPK pathways activation as well as growth control and virulence in A. fumigatus. Functional characterization of Msb2 and factors related to the MAPK signaling regulation will contribute to the design of new drugs for the antifungal treatment, indispensable to patients with Invasive Aspergillosis.

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