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Role of galectin-3 on the extracellular vesicles secretion from Cryptococcus neoformans

Grant number: 13/26382-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2014
Effective date (End): March 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Immunochemistry
Principal Investigator:Maria Cristina Roque Antunes Barreira
Grantee:Fausto Bruno dos Reis Almeida
Supervisor: Arturo Casadevall
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:13/10741-8 - Effect of N-glycosylation inhibition on the transcriptional and proteomic profiles of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, BP.PD


Cryptococcus neoformans is the causative agent of cryptococcosis and a major pathogen for immunosuppressed individuals. C. neoformans represents a unique model in cell biology studies because it is the only eukaryotic pathogen with a polysaccharide capsule, furthermore produces vesicles containing its major virulence factor. These vesicles cross the cell wall to reach the extracellular space, where the polysaccharide is supposedly used for capsule growth or delivered into host tissues. Galectin-3, a glycan-binding protein, controls a broad spectrum of immunological functions, including cell adhesion, migration, activation, apoptosis and cytokine secretion within innate and adaptive immune compartments. Thus, in this project we will be the first group to study the effect/interaction of galectin-3 on the extracellular vesicles secretion by C. neoformans. More specifically, we propose to do the following aims: (1) investigate the lytic effect of galectin-3 on the extracellular vesicles from C. neoformans, (2) evaluate the role of galectin-3 in the interaction of extracellular vesicles with cells from infected animals with C. neoformans, (3) analyze the regulated expression and distribution of galectin-3 in murine tissues infected by C. neoformans. Our expectation is that galectin-3 may be responsible for important functions on the extracellular vesicles secretion from C. neoformans. (AU)

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