Publication Date



School of Health Sciences


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Cryptococcus neoformans, virulence, pH, adaptation, SREBP-CAP, SREBP, Scp1, ergosterol, membrane homeostasis


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.