JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Cell wall integrity signalling in human pathogenic fungi

Karl Dichtl, Sweta Samantaray, Johannes Wagener
Cellular Microbiology 2016, 18 (9): 1228-38
27155139
Fungi are surrounded by a rigid structure, the fungal cell wall. Its plasticity and composition depend on active regulation of the underlying biosynthesis and restructuring processes. This involves specialised signalling pathways that control gene expression and activities of biosynthetic enzymes. The cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway is the central signalling cascade required for the adaptation to a wide spectrum of cell wall perturbing conditions, including heat, oxidative stress and antifungals. In the recent years, great efforts were made to analyse the CWI pathway of diverse fungi. It turned out that the CWI signalling cascade is mostly conserved in the fungal kingdom. In this review, we summarise as well as compare the current knowledge on the canonical CWI pathway in the human pathogenic fungi Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus neoformans. Understanding the differences and similarities in the stress responses of these organisms could become a key to improving existing or developing new antifungal therapies.

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