Research ArticleFUNGAL INFECTION

Oral epithelial cells orchestrate innate type 17 responses to Candida albicans through the virulence factor candidalysin

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Science Immunology  03 Nov 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 17, eaam8834
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aam8834

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Calibrating antifungal responses

Immune responses to fungal infections are complicated by the fact that fungi can exist in multiple forms depending on environmental cues. Here, Verma et al. have evaluated innate immune responses to Candida albicans, a fungus that transitions from yeast to filamentous hyphae as infection progresses. They find that candidalysin, a hypha-associated protein and virulence factor, serves as a danger signal that potentiates the immune response to C. albicans. Candidalysin-deficient strains of C. albicans caused minimal epithelial damage and elicited a blunted type 17 immune response. The authors propose that the innate antifungal responses to C. albicans are driven by a synergy between cellular damage triggered by candidalysin that is further amplified by interleukin-17 driven inflammation.