These authors contributed equally to this review.
Signalling pathways in the pathogenesis of Cryptococcus
Version of Record online: 22 DEC 2008
© 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 11, Issue 3, pages 370–380, March 2009
How to Cite
Kozubowski, L., Lee, S. C. and Heitman, J. (2009), Signalling pathways in the pathogenesis of Cryptococcus. Cellular Microbiology, 11: 370–380. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2008.01273.x
- Issue online: 6 FEB 2009
- Version of Record online: 22 DEC 2008
- Received 8 October, 2008; revised 19 November, 2008; accepted 24 November, 2008.
Efficient communication with the environment is critical for all living organisms. Fungi utilize complex signalling systems to sense their environments and control proliferation, development and in some cases virulence. Well-studied signalling pathways include the protein kinase A/cyclic AMP (cAMP), protein kinase C (PKC)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), lipid signalling cascades, and the calcium–calcineurin signalling pathway. The human pathogenic basidiomycetous fungus Cryptococcus neoformans deploys sensitive signalling systems to survive in the human host, leading to life-threatening meningoencephalitis. Known virulence traits of this fungus, including the antioxidant melanin production, the antiphagocytic polysaccharide capsule and the ability to grow at 37°C, are orchestrated by complex signalling networks, whose understanding is crucial to better treat, diagnose and prevent cryptococcosis.