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Transcription factors and cell signaling pathways in pathogenicity and modulation of immune response

Grant number: 21/10255-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): September 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Antonio Rossi Filho
Grantee:Leonardo Martins Santana
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/22596-9 - Molecular mechanisms associated with pathogenicity and resistance in fungi: strategies for treating dermatophytosis, AP.TEM


Among the essential gene groups for the development of the infectious process, transcription factors responsible for regulating gene activity stand out [1]. Our group demonstrated the relationship of the transcription factor PacC and the growth of the dermatophyte T. interdigitale in human nails in vitro, confirming its role in fungal pathogenicity [2]. The study of the regulatory mechanisms exerted by transcription factors and their effect on the other genes in T. rubrum will favor understanding the pathogen-host interaction processes.In addition to studying the individual function of genes, the evaluation of cell signaling pathways activated in response to stressful situations can also generate clues for understanding the pathogen's adaptation to the site of infection. The study of these pathways contributes to understanding different processes, including the modulation mechanisms of the host's immune response, which aim to superimpose the infection process [3 -5]. Recent data published by us present the modulation of genes that code for LysM domains in T. rubrum in response to keratin, a substrate present in the host [6]. Proteins containing these domains probably act by masking cell wall components of pathogens to confuse the host's immune response [7], having a relevant role in the pathogenicity of dermatophytes. The initial process of infection by dermatophytes may guide the systematic understanding of the pathways activated due to the association of the pathogen with the host substrate, as well as the identification of factors related to the immune response. For this, we propose using infection systems in human cells, using techniques already used in T. rubrum [8, 9], also aiming to reveal new therapeutic targets. (AU)

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