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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2019 Dec 6. doi: 10.1007/82_2019_183. [Epub ahead of print]

Mitochondrial Control of Fungal Cell Walls: Models and Relevance in Fungal Pathogens.

Author information

1
Infection and Immunity Program, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Clayton, 3800, VIC, Australia.
2
Protein, Science and Engineering, Callaghan Innovation, Christchurch, 8140, New Zealand.
3
Infection and Immunity Program, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Clayton, 3800, VIC, Australia. ana.traven@monash.edu.

Abstract

Proper structure and function of the fungal cell wall are controlled by metabolic processes, as well as an interplay between a range of cellular organelles. Somewhat surprisingly, mitochondrial function has been shown to be important for proper cell wall biogenesis and integrity. Mitochondria also play a role in the susceptibility of fungi to cell wall-targeting drugs. This is true in a range of fungal species, including important human fungal pathogens. The biochemical mechanisms that explain the roles of mitochondria in cell wall biology have remained elusive, but studies to date strongly support the idea that mitochondrial control over cellular lipid homeostasis is at the core of these processes. Excitingly, recent evidence suggests that the mitochondria-lipid linkages drive resistance to the echinocandin drug caspofungin, a clinically important therapeutic that targets cell wall biosynthesis. Here, we review the state of affairs in mitochondria-fungal cell wall research and propose models that could be tested in future studies. Elucidating the mechanisms that drive fungal cell wall integrity through mitochondrial functions holds promise for developing new strategies to combat fungal infections, including the possibility to potentiate the effects of antifungal drugs and curb drug resistance.

PMID:
31807895
DOI:
10.1007/82_2019_183

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