Defining the Role of a Putative SREBP Cleavage Activating Protein in pH Response Regulation in Cryptococcus neoformans
School of Health Sciences
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cryptococcus neoformans, virulence, pH, adaptation, SREBP-CAP, SREBP, Scp1, ergosterol, membrane homeostasis
Genetics | Pathogenic Microbiology
Finson, Hannah G., "Defining the Role of a Putative SREBP Cleavage Activating Protein in pH Response Regulation in Cryptococcus neoformans" (2022). Senior Honors Theses. 1205.
Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that infects the lungs and travels to the central nervous system where it causes meningoencephalitis. Without rapid medical intervention, this is fatal for individuals with compromised immune systems. During infection, the pathogen moves from an acidic exterior environment to a slightly alkaline environment in the host. This induces alkaline-specific gene induction to maintain cellular processes for cell survival. Investigators at Duke University identified several genes that play a role in this process, including CNAG_01580, or SCP1, which codes for a putative SREBP cleavage activating protein. This gene was deleted in wild-type C. neoformans to assess alterations in virulence-related phenotypes. If this gene significantly impacts virulence, it will provide a new target for antifungal therapy.