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Fungal Biol Rev. 2014 Oct;28(2-3):56-69.

Calcineurin as a Multifunctional Regulator: Unraveling Novel Functions in Fungal Stress Responses, Hyphal Growth, Drug Resistance, and Pathogenesis.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Durham NC, USA.
2
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Durham NC, USA ; Infectious Diseases Service, Department of Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland ; Institute of Microbiology, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.
3
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Durham NC, USA ; Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham NC, USA.

Abstract

Calcineurin signaling plays diverse roles in fungi in regulating stress responses, morphogenesis and pathogenesis. Although calcineurin signaling is conserved among fungi, recent studies indicate important divergences in calcineurin-dependent cellular functions among different human fungal pathogens. Fungal pathogens utilize the calcineurin pathway to effectively survive the host environment and cause life-threatening infections. The immunosuppressive calcineurin inhibitors (FK506 and cyclosporine A) are active against fungi, making targeting calcineurin a promising antifungal drug development strategy. Here we summarize current knowledge on calcineurin in yeasts and filamentous fungi, and review the importance of understanding fungal-specific attributes of calcineurin to decipher fungal pathogenesis and develop novel antifungal therapeutic approaches.

KEYWORDS:

Aspergillus; Candida; calcineurin; cell wall; fungi; septum; virulence

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