Elucidating the function of Ece1 peptides during Candida albicans-macrophage interactions

This thesis shows a dual function of candidalysin in macrophages. On the one hand, it acts as a classical virulence factor by facilitating immune evasion via membrane destruction, whereas on the other hand, the toxin induces host-protective, pro-inflammatory signalling, thus acting as an avirulence factor causing clearance of C. albicans. First data generated in this thesis also indicate that NCEPs are important for Ece1 folding, processing and/or secretion of the processed Ece1 peptides including candidalysin, as genetic modifications of the ECE1 gene often resulted in ER stress, UPR induction, deficiencies in hyphal morphogenesis, and diminished ECE1 expression. Furthermore, some NCEPs also possess effector-like functions by modulating the macrophage transcriptional response and immune mediator secretion. These results provide the first data about potential biological functions of NCEPs and their role during C. albicans-host cell interactions.


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