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Cell Microbiol. 2009 Feb;11(2):183-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2008.01259.x. Epub 2008 Nov 3.

Responses to hypoxia in fungal pathogens.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie, Molekulare Mykologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.


Hypoxia is typical for most battlefields of host-pathogen interactions in the human host. While adaptation of human cells to low levels of oxygen has been well established, little information exists on mechanisms of hypoxic adaptation in microbial pathogens. Importantly, the impact of hypoxia on microbial infection, virulence and pathogenesis is rarely investigated. Recent results on the human pathogens Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans indicate that these fungi adapt to hypoxia specifically by altering several morphological phenotypes, metabolic and transcriptomal activities, as well as virulence traits. In this review, novel components and mechanisms involved in hypoxic adaptation of human fungals pathogens are summarized and discussed.

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