Navigation Links
U of M researchers discover genetic key to treating deadly fungal infections

University of Minnesota researchers have discovered how a prevalent fungal pathogen that causes 10,000 deaths per year in the United States overcomes the effects of antifungal drugs by duplicating a section of one of its chromosomes.

Candida albicans, a type of yeast present in 80 percent of humans, is usually harmless. In otherwise healthy people, it can cause mild oral and vaginal infections (candiasis or thrush) that are easily treated. But in people whose immune systems are suppressed (by AIDS, chemotherapy, or drugs for surgery or organ transplantation) it can produce deadly, systemic infections, causing death in 30 to 50 percent of cases. Premature babies, whose immune systems are immature, are also at risk.

Led by Judith Berman, professor of genetics, cell biology and development, university researchers have discovered that C. albicans can neutralize an antifungal drug by modifying one of its own chromosomes. The cell duplicates one arm of chromosome 5 and deletes the other, replacing it with the duplicate arm. The altered chromosome is known as an "isochromosome." The effect of the duplication is to help the cell tolerate the antifungal drug, thus allowing the yeast to continue growing despite the presence of the drug.

The discovery, which is reported in the July 21 issue of Science, could lead to strategies for making currently available antifungal drugs more effective.

"This creates important clinical opportunities," said Berman. "The next step is to find a companion drug to block the formation of isochromosomes during antifungal treatment."

Berman also explained that some cancerous tumors contain isochromosomes, which means that the finding may yield clues about how some tumors become resistant to chemotherapy and how researchers can develop companion drugs that inhibit the development of that resistance.

About 25,000 Americans develop these fungal infections each year. And in spite of treatm ent with antifungal drugs, 10,000 die. The number of hospital-acquired C. albicans infections is increasing. There are few drugs available to treat it and the fungus often becomes resistant to a drug, making it ineffective. The cost to the U.S. health care industry is $1 billion per year.

Berman explained that drugs that are toxic to fungi are often toxic to humans. Thus, anti-fungal drugs are usually intended to suppress, rather than kill, C. albicans. This suppression encourages the organism to evolve resistance to the drug in order to survive.


'"/>

Source:University of Minnesota


Related biology news :

1. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
2. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
3. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
4. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
5. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
6. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
7. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
8. Agilent Technologies releases automated literature search tool for biology researchers
9. Self-assembled nano-sized probes allow Penn researchers to see tumors through flesh and skin
10. Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
11. US life expectancy about to decline, researchers say
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new partnership ... more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of ... competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies to ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, ... data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... 2016 BioCatch ™, the ... announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of ... deployment of its platform at several of the world,s ... discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016   ... ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited ... of its soon to be launched online site for ... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide potential shareholders a ... DNA technology to an industry that is notorious for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The ... by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining a ... clinically relevant data were available when and where it was needed. The organization ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Lady had been battling arthritis since the age of two and at the ... Hannah sought the help of Dr Jeff Christiansen of Superior Veterinary Surgical Solutions ... help with the pain of Lady’s arthritis. Dr Christiansen suggested that in conjunction with ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016   MedyMatch Technology Ltd ., the data ... real-time decision support tools in the emergency room, announced today ... Israeli Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) BioMed Conference. ... 15th National Life Sciences and Technology Week, and is ... Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel . ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... The need for blood donations in ... this week by the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, blood donations are on the ... 30 years, and they are down 21 percent in South Texas in the last four ...
Breaking Biology Technology: