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Molecular characterization of putative effector proteins in the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

Grant number: 22/08796-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2022
Effective date (End): October 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Henrique Goldman
Grantee:Camila Diehl da Rosa
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Invasive fungal diseases represent a serious global health problem. Aspergillosis is an opportunistic infection whose etiological agents are filamentous fungi of the genus Aspergillus. More than 60% of aspergillosis cases are caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, while a few other pathogenic species of the genus are responsible for the remainder of cases. Many of these species are closely related to A. fumigatus and belong to the same taxonomic section, section Fumigati. The evolution of Aspergillus pathogenicity is the result of several events that occur repeatedly, involving the presence of genetic elements conserved within the genus, but also specific elements of each species. A. fumigatus shares most of its genes with non-pathogenic species, but 8.5% of the genes are specie-specific. The investigation of specie-specific genetic elements has been the focus of many studies due to their probable relationship with the phenotypic, pathogenicity and niche adaptation differences existing between pathogenic and non-pathogenic Aspergillus species. The proposal of this project is based on preliminary observations, which identified differences in the protein expression profile of A. fumigatus under the process of interaction with host cells, in comparison with pathogenic and non-pathogenic species from the section Fumigati. This study will focus on characterizing the importance of a group of effector proteins expressed exclusively by A. fumigatus in this context. (AU)

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