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Review

The Dual Function of the Fungal Toxin Candidalysin during Candida albicans—Macrophage Interaction and Virulence

by 1, 1,2,3,* and 1,*
1
Department of Microbial Pathogenicity Mechanisms, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology–Hans Knoell Institute, 07745 Jena, Germany
2
Center for Sepsis Control and Care, University Hospital Jena, 07747 Jena, Germany
3
Institute of Microbiology, Friedrich Schiller University, 07743 Jena, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2020, 12(8), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12080469
Received: 17 June 2020 / Revised: 16 July 2020 / Accepted: 19 July 2020 / Published: 24 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macrophage Interplay with Pore-Forming Toxins)
The dimorphic fungus Candida albicans is both a harmless commensal organism on mucosal surfaces and an opportunistic pathogen. Under certain predisposing conditions, the fungus can overgrow the mucosal microbiome and cause both superficial and life-threatening systemic infections after gaining access to the bloodstream. As the first line of defense of the innate immune response, infecting C. albicans cells face macrophages, which mediate the clearance of invading fungi by intracellular killing. However, the fungus has evolved sophisticated strategies to counteract macrophage antimicrobial activities and thus evade immune surveillance. The cytolytic peptide toxin, candidalysin, contributes to this fungal defense machinery by damaging immune cell membranes, providing an escape route from the hostile phagosome environment. Nevertheless, candidalysin also induces NLRP3 inflammasome activation, leading to an increased host-protective pro-inflammatory response in mononuclear phagocytes. Therefore, candidalysin facilitates immune evasion by acting as a classical virulence factor but also contributes to an antifungal immune response, serving as an avirulence factor. In this review, we discuss the role of candidalysin during C. albicans infections, focusing on its implications during C. albicans-macrophage interactions. View Full-Text
Keywords: candidalysin; cytolytic toxin; dual function; inflammasome activation candidalysin; cytolytic toxin; dual function; inflammasome activation
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MDPI and ACS Style

König, A.; Hube, B.; Kasper, L. The Dual Function of the Fungal Toxin Candidalysin during Candida albicans—Macrophage Interaction and Virulence. Toxins 2020, 12, 469. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12080469

AMA Style

König A, Hube B, Kasper L. The Dual Function of the Fungal Toxin Candidalysin during Candida albicans—Macrophage Interaction and Virulence. Toxins. 2020; 12(8):469. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12080469

Chicago/Turabian Style

König, Annika, Bernhard Hube, and Lydia Kasper. 2020. "The Dual Function of the Fungal Toxin Candidalysin during Candida albicans—Macrophage Interaction and Virulence" Toxins 12, no. 8: 469. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12080469

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