Chromatin Structure and Drug Resistance in Candida spp

Callum J O'Kane, Rachel Weild, Edel M Hyland
Journal of Fungi (Basel, Switzerland) 2020 July 30, 6 (3)
Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is currently one of the most serious threats to global human health and, appropriately, research to tackle AMR garnishes significant investment and extensive attention from the scientific community. However, most of this effort focuses on antibiotics, and research into anti-fungal resistance (AFR) is vastly under-represented in comparison. Given the growing number of vulnerable, immunocompromised individuals, as well as the positive impact global warming has on fungal growth, there is an immediate urgency to tackle fungal disease, and the disturbing rise in AFR. Chromatin structure and gene expression regulation play pivotal roles in the adaptation of fungal species to anti-fungal stress, suggesting a potential therapeutic avenue to tackle AFR. In this review we discuss both the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms by which chromatin structure can dictate AFR mechanisms and will present evidence of how pathogenic yeast, specifically from the Candida genus, modify chromatin structure to promote survival in the presence of anti-fungal drugs. We also discuss the mechanisms by which anti-chromatin therapy, specifically lysine deacetylase inhibitors, influence the acquisition and phenotypic expression of AFR in Candida spp. and their potential as effective adjuvants to mitigate against AFR.

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