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Glycobiology of Human Fungal Pathogens: New Avenues for Drug Development

1
Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Queensland, 4222, Australia; Member of Fraunhofer International Consortium for Anti-Infective Research (iCAIR), Nikolai-Fuchs Strasse 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany
2
Department of Clinical Biochemistry OE4340, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Strasse 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany; Member of Fraunhofer International Consortium for Anti-Infective Research (iCAIR), Nikolai-Fuchs Strasse 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111348
Received: 23 September 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Glycomics)
Invasive fungal infections (IFI) are an increasing threat to the developing world, with fungal spores being ubiquitous and inhaled every day. Some fungal species are commensal organisms that are part of the normal human microbiota, and, as such, do not pose a threat to the immune system. However, when the natural balance of this association is disturbed or the host’s immune system is compromised, these fungal pathogens overtake the organism, and cause IFI. To understand the invasiveness of these pathogens and to address the growing problem of IFI, it is essential to identify the cellular processes of the invading organism and their virulence. In this review, we will discuss the prevalence and current options available to treat IFI, including recent reports of drug resistance. Nevertheless, the main focus of this review is to describe the glycobiology of human fungal pathogens and how various components of the fungal cell wall, particularly cell wall polysaccharides and glycoconjugates, are involved in fungal pathogenicity, their biosynthesis and how they can be potentially exploited to develop novel antifungal treatment options. We will specifically describe the nucleotide sugar transporters (NSTs) that are important in fungal survival and suggest that the inhibition of fungal NSTs may potentially be useful to prevent the establishment of fungal infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: invasive fungal infection; aspergillus; candida; cryptococcus; nucleotide sugar transporter; immunosuppression; GDP-Mannose; UDP-Galactofuranose; UDP-Xylose; UDP-glucuronic acid invasive fungal infection; aspergillus; candida; cryptococcus; nucleotide sugar transporter; immunosuppression; GDP-Mannose; UDP-Galactofuranose; UDP-Xylose; UDP-glucuronic acid
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Lee, D.J.; O’Donnell, H.; Routier, F.H.; Tiralongo, J.; Haselhorst, T. Glycobiology of Human Fungal Pathogens: New Avenues for Drug Development. Cells 2019, 8, 1348.

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