Pathogenic fungi build their carbohydrate armor

Pathogenic fungi build their carbohydrate armor

2021-11-22

Life-threatening fungal infections impact the health of millions of humans across the globe each year. With the limited efficacy of commercially available drugs, the need for novel antifungal compounds is on the rise.

The Wang research team examined the structural dynamics of fungal polysaccharides and their responses to cell wall stress. Specifically, the team examined the cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungal pathogen that causes life-threatening disease in immunocompromised individuals.

The research team coupled its expertise in solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with a functional genomics approach using multiple mutants of Aspergillus fumigatus, each of which selectively eliminates a single type of structural carbohydrate at one time.