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Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Volume 81, 2021, 101017

Post-transcriptional and translational control of the morphology and virulence in human fungal pathogens

Aishwarya Rana1, Nidhi Gupta1, Anil Thakur

Regional Centre for Biotechnology, 3rd Milestone Gurgaon-Faridabad Expressway, Faridabad 121001, India.


Host-pathogen interactions at the molecular level are the key to fungal pathogenesis. Fungal pathogens utilize several mechanisms such as adhesion, invasion, phenotype switching and metabolic adaptations, to survive in the host environment and respond. Post-transcriptional and translational regulations have emerged as key regulatory mechanisms ensuring the virulence and survival of fungal pathogens. Through these regulations, fungal pathogens effectively alter their protein pool, respond to various stress, and undergo morphogenesis, leading to efficient and comprehensive changes in fungal physiology. The regulation of virulence through post-transcriptional and translational regulatory mechanisms is mediated through mRNA elements (cis factors) or effector molecules (trans factors). The untranslated regions upstream and downstream of the mRNA, as well as various RNA-binding proteins involved in translation initiation or circularization of the mRNA, play pivotal roles in the regulation of morphology and virulence by influencing protein synthesis, protein isoforms, and mRNA stability. Therefore, post-transcriptional and translational mechanisms regulating the morphology, virulence and drug-resistance processes in fungal pathogens can be the target for new therapeutics. With improved “omics” technologies, these regulatory mechanisms are increasingly coming to the forefront of basic biology and drug discovery. This review aims to discuss various modes of post-transcriptional and translation regulations, and how these mechanisms exert influence in the virulence and morphogenesis of fungal pathogens.

Keywords: Fungal pathogens, Post transcriptional, Translation, Kinase, Start codon, mRNA stabilitym, RNA decay, GCN45' UTR.

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