Research Article

Oxidative stress response in Paracoccidioides brasiliensis

Abstract

Survival of pathogenic fungi inside human hosts depends on evasion from the host immune system and adaptation to the host environment. Among different insults that Paracoccidioides brasiliensis has to handle are reactive oxygen and nitrogen species produced by the human host cells, and by its own metabolism. Knowing how the parasite deals with reactive species is important to understand how it establishes infection and survives within humans. The initiative to describe the P. brasiliensis transcriptome fostered new approaches to study oxidative stress response in this organism. By examining genes related to oxidative stress response, one can evaluate the parasite’s ability to face this condition and infer about possible ways to overcome this ability. We report the results of a search of the P. brasiliensis assembled expressed sequence tag database for homologous sequences involved in oxidative stress response. We described several genes coding proteins involved in antioxidant defense, for example, catalase and superoxide dismutase isoenzymes, peroxiredoxin, cytochrome c peroxidase, glutathione synthesis enzymes, thioredoxin, and the transcription factors Yap1 and Skn7. The transcriptome analysis of P. brasiliensis reveals a pathogen that has many resources to combat reactive species. Besides characterizing the antioxidant defense system in P. brasiliensis, we also compared the ways in which different fungi respond to oxidative damage, and we dentified the basic features of this response.

Survival of pathogenic fungi inside human hosts depends on evasion from the host immune system and adaptation to the host environment. Among different insults that Paracoccidioides brasiliensis has to handle are reactive oxygen and nitrogen species produced by the human host cells, and by its own metabolism. Knowing how the parasite deals with reactive species is important to understand how it establishes infection and survives within humans. The initiative to describe the P. brasiliensis transcriptome fostered new approaches to study oxidative stress response in this organism. By examining genes related to oxidative stress response, one can evaluate the parasite’s ability to face this condition and infer about possible ways to overcome this ability. We report the results of a search of the P. brasiliensis assembled expressed sequence tag database for homologous sequences involved in oxidative stress response. We described several genes coding proteins involved in antioxidant defense, for example, catalase and superoxide dismutase isoenzymes, peroxiredoxin, cytochrome c peroxidase, glutathione synthesis enzymes, thioredoxin, and the transcription factors Yap1 and Skn7. The transcriptome analysis of P. brasiliensis reveals a pathogen that has many resources to combat reactive species. Besides characterizing the antioxidant defense system in P. brasiliensis, we also compared the ways in which different fungi respond to oxidative damage, and we dentified the basic features of this response.

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