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Chin Med J (Engl). 2012 Feb;125(4):617-21.

E-cadherin mediates adhesion and endocytosis of Aspergillus fumigatus blastospores in human epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Second Military Medical University/Nanjing General Hospital of Nanjing Military Command, People's Liberation Army, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.



Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is a ubiquitous saprophytic fungus responsible for the majority of invasive mold infections in patients undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplantation or with persistent neutropenia. This study aimed to determine the role of E-cadherin for adhesion and endocytosis of A. fumigatus blastospores in the human epithelial cell line A549.


A. fumigatus blastospores were incubated with the total protein of A549 to investigate the binding of E-cadherin and blastospores followed by an affinity purification procedure. After establishing the adhesion model, the adhesion and endocytosis of A. fumigatus blastospores by A549 cells were evaluated by down-regulating E-cadherin of A549 cells using blocking antibody or small interfering RNA (siRNA).


E-cadherin was adhered to the surface of A. fumigatus blastospore. Adhesion and endocytosis of the blastospores were reduced by blocking or down-regulating E-cadherin in A549 cells.


E-cadherin is a receptor for adhesion and endocytosis of A. fumigatus blastospores in epithelial cells. This may open a new approach to treat this fungal infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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