Transcriptomic Crosstalk between Fungal Invasive Pathogens and Their Host Cells: Opportunities and Challenges for Next-Generation Sequencing Methods

Francisco J Enguita, Marina C. Costa, Ana Marisa Fusco-Almeida, Maria José Mendes-Giannini, Ana Lúcia Leitão

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Fungal invasive infections are an increasing health problem. The intrinsic complexity of pathogenic fungi and the unmet clinical need for new and more effective treatments requires a detailed knowledge of the infection process. During infection, fungal pathogens are able to trigger a specific transcriptional program in their host cells. The detailed knowledge of this transcriptional program will allow for a better understanding of the infection process and consequently will help in the future design of more efficient therapeutic strategies. Simultaneous transcriptomic studies of pathogen and host by high-throughput sequencing (dual RNA-seq) is an unbiased protocol to understand the intricate regulatory networks underlying the infectious process. This protocol is starting to be applied to the study of the interactions between fungal pathogens and their hosts. To date, our knowledge of the molecular basis of infection for fungal pathogens is still very limited, and the putative role of regulatory players such as non-coding RNAs or epigenetic factors remains elusive. The wider application of high-throughput transcriptomics in the near future will help to understand the fungal mechanisms for colonization and survival, as well as to characterize the molecular responses of the host cell against a fungal infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland)
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • dual RNA-seq
  • fungal pathogen
  • high-throughput transcriptomics
  • invasive infection
  • next generation sequencing
  • non-coding RNAs

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