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Ras-Mediated Signal Transduction and Virulence in Human Pathogenic Fungi | Abstract
Fungal Genomics & Biology

Fungal Genomics & Biology
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-8056

Abstract

Ras-Mediated Signal Transduction and Virulence in Human Pathogenic Fungi

Jarrod R. Fortwendel

Signal transduction pathways regulating growth and stress responses are areas of significant study in the effort to delineate pathogenic mechanisms of fungi. In-depth knowledge of signal transduction events deepens our understanding of how a fungal pathogen is able to sense changes in the environment and respond accordingly by modulation of gene expression and re-organization of cellular activities to optimize fitness. Members of the Ras protein family are important regulators of growth and differentiation in eukaryotic organisms, and have been the focus of numerous studies exploring fungal pathogenesis. Here, the current data regarding Ras signal transduction are reviewed for three major pathogenic fungi: Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus. Particular emphasis is placed on Ras-protein interactions during control of morphogenesis, stress response and virulence.

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