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Microorganisms 2017, 5(2), 33; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5020033

Purine Acquisition and Synthesis by Human Fungal Pathogens

1
Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences, the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
2
Institute for Molecular Bioscience, the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Julianne Djordjevic
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Nutrition Assimilation Strategies and Pathogenicity)
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Abstract

While members of the Kingdom Fungi are found across many of the world’s most hostile environments, only a limited number of species can thrive within the human host. The causative agents of the most common invasive fungal infections are Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Cryptococcus neoformans. During the infection process, these fungi must not only combat the host immune system while adapting to dramatic changes in temperature and pH, but also acquire sufficient nutrients to enable growth and dissemination in the host. One class of nutrients required by fungi, which is found in varying concentrations in their environmental niches and the human host, is the purines. These nitrogen-containing heterocycles are one of the most abundant organic molecules in nature and are required for roles as diverse as signal transduction, energy metabolism and DNA synthesis. The most common life-threatening fungal pathogens can degrade, salvage and synthesize de novo purines through a number of enzymatic steps that are conserved. While these enable them to adapt to the changing purine availability in the environment, only de novo purine biosynthesis is essential during infection and therefore an attractive antimycotic target. View Full-Text
Keywords: fungal pathogens; purines; nitrogen; degradation; salvage; synthesis fungal pathogens; purines; nitrogen; degradation; salvage; synthesis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chitty, J.L.; Fraser, J.A. Purine Acquisition and Synthesis by Human Fungal Pathogens. Microorganisms 2017, 5, 33.

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