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FEMS Yeast Res. 2009 Oct;9(7):1029-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2009.00578.x. Epub 2009 Sep 7.

Antifungal drug resistance mechanisms in fungal pathogens from the perspective of transcriptional gene regulation.

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Institute of Microbiology, University of Lausanne and University Hospital Center, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Fungi are primitive eukaryotes and have adapted to a variety of niches during evolution. Some fungal species may interact with other life forms (plants, insects, mammals), but are considered as pathogens when they cause mild to severe diseases. Chemical control strategies have emerged with the development of several drugs with antifungal activity against pathogenic fungi. Antifungal agents have demonstrated their efficacy by improving patient health in medicine. However, fungi have counteracted antifungal agents in several cases by developing resistance mechanisms. These mechanisms rely on drug resistance genes including multidrug transporters and drug targets. Their regulation is crucial for the development of antifungal drug resistance and therefore transcriptional factors critical for their regulation are being characterized. Recent genome-wide studies have revealed complex regulatory circuits involving these genetic and transcriptional regulators. Here, we review the current understanding of the transcriptional regulation of drug resistance genes from several fungal pathogens including Candida and Aspergillus species.

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