HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Biologists ID defense mechanism of leading fungal pathogen

HOUSTON, June 25, 2004 -- Molecular biologists at Rice University have discovered a key defense mechanism that the yeast Candida albicans uses against attack by the human immune system. This chink in the armor of Candida, the most common human fungal pathogen, could be exploited with new drugs for both lethal and non-lethal Candida outbreaks, including vaginal yeast infections and thrush.

In the study, researchers ran side-by-side comparisons between Candida and baker's yeast -- an organism that doesn't typically infect humans -- in order to find the genes that Candida uses to protect itself against nitric oxide, or NO. Human immune cells give off NO to slow the growth of yeast colonies. The study, published in this month's issue of the journal Eukaryotic Cell, isolated one gene that appears to play a critical role in Candida's NO defense.

The researchers determined that Candida, unlike baker's yeast, is able to sense the presence of NO and ramp up its defenses. They are currently trying to determine which chemical signals Candida uses to detect the presence of NO.

"Baker's yeast and Candida both have the gene to make NO-scavenging enzymes, but Candida has three copies, and it alone has a mechanism to react to increased NO levels by producing more NO-scavengers," said lead researcher Mike Gustin, associate professor of biochemistry and cell biology. "If we can identify the signaling mechanism it uses, that would give us one more useful target for new drug therapies."

Candida is common in humans. It's estimated that 70 percent of people have Candida colonies in their intestines, mouths or on their skin. In most cases, the organism is commensal, meaning it does not harm people, even though it depends upon them for food. However, colonies of Candida sometimes grow too large, as happens in the case of yeast infections. While not life-threatening, vaginal yeast infections are a common and painful problem for a significant percentage of Ame
'"/>

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
25-Jun-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Biologists deciphering complex lemur scent language
2. Biologists discover nerve activity, not just genetics controls kinds of neurotransmitters produced
3. Biologists uncover genetic links to broad range of human disorders resulting from cilia dysfunctions
4. American Society of Plant Biologists offers developing nations free access to science journals
5. Open access initiative from the Company of Biologists
6. Biologists find unexpected rapid evolution in Caribbean lizards
7. American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting 2003
8. Biologists raising baby loggerhead turtles for conservation find disturbing gender trend
9. Biologists new experiment may vindicate Darwin
10. Biologists take new look at metabolism
11. Biologists track down central cause of lupus

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Biologists defense mechanism leading fungal pathogen

(Date:10/29/2014)... bodies decompose, their types and numbers of bugs ... could mean the difference between a closed case ... is using a more than $866,000 U.S. Department ... examine these changing populations. The microbial communities may ... death, gender, race, socioeconomic relations and more, said ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... new research potential of the Barcode of Life ... the Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ) ... and imported these into a human-readable text developed in ... Data were used to study the species distributions of ... subfamily. , BOLD is originally designed to support the ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... is a hormone released by the stomach and it ... as a psychoactive substance that primarily affects brain function, ... , This knowledge, combined with findings from animal studies, ... potential to stimulate alcohol craving. , Dr. Lorenzo Leggio ... that, as they had anticipated, alcohol craving was increased ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):MSU partners with Detroit to investigate death scenes 2Go straight and publish: From Barcode of Life Data Systems to scholarly publishing systems 2Ghrelin stimulates an appetite for drinking alcohol 2
(Date:10/30/2014)... 2014 A new report, commissioned by BioCrossroads ... an in-depth look at Indiana,s ... over two different time frames: 1993 to 2002 and ... future opportunities for investment growth.  The Life Science ... report shows gains in innovation dollars as well as an ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... 29, 2014) – The severe flooding that devastated a ... less destructive if the bridges, roads and other infrastructure ... study from the University of Colorado Denver. , "People ... said Jimmy Kim, PhD, associate professor of structural engineering ... Science and lead author the study. "There is an ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... , October 27, 2014 ... right to produce, exhibit and sell its artificial ... to impeach their patent.      (Photo: ... four years of fighting, the definitive judgement has ... and produces innovative and accessible hi-tech prostheses with ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... October 27, 2014 The “Molecular ... Genetics, Microbiology), Technology (PCR, INAAT, DNA Sequencing), End ... Service, Software) - Global Forecast to 2018” provides ... challenges, opportunities, current market trends, and strategies impacting ... estimates and forecasts of the revenue and share ...
Breaking Biology Technology:New report shows Indiana's gains in life sciences innovation capital outpace the nation 2New report shows Indiana's gains in life sciences innovation capital outpace the nation 3New report shows Indiana's gains in life sciences innovation capital outpace the nation 4New report shows Indiana's gains in life sciences innovation capital outpace the nation 5CU Denver study says upgrading infrastructure could reduce flood damage 2Italian Lower Limb Prosthesis Company Wins Lawsuit Against German Giant Ottobock 2Global Molecular Diagnostics Market Will Reach $7.9 Billion by 2018 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Global Molecular Diagnostics Market Will Reach $7.9 Billion by 2018 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Global Molecular Diagnostics Market Will Reach $7.9 Billion by 2018 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Global Molecular Diagnostics Market Will Reach $7.9 Billion by 2018 - New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets 5
Cached News: