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Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1572-1585, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873822


Cryptococcal meningoencephalitis (CM) is emerging as an infection in HIV/AIDS patients shifted from primarily ART-naive to ART-experienced individuals, as well as patients with COVID-19 and immunocompetent hosts. This fungal infection is mainly caused by the opportunistic human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Brain or central nervous system (CNS) dissemination is the deadliest process for this disease; however, mechanisms underlying this process have yet to be elucidated. Moreover, illustrations of clinically relevant responses in cryptococcosis are currently limited due to the low availability of clinical samples. In this study, to explore the clinically relevant responses during C. neoformans infection, macaque and mouse infection models were employed and miRNA-mRNA transcriptomes were performed and combined, which revealed cytoskeleton, a major feature of HIV/AIDS patients, was a centric pathway regulated in both infection models. Notably, assays of clinical immune cells confirmed an enhanced macrophage "Trojan Horse" in patients with HIV/AIDS, which could be shut down by cytoskeleton inhibitors. Furthermore, myocilin, encoded by MYOC, was found to be a novel enhancer for the macrophage "Trojan Horse," and an enhanced fungal burden was achieved in the brains of MYOC-transgenic mice. Taken together, the findings from this study reveal fundamental roles of the cytoskeleton and MYOC in fungal CNS dissemination, which not only helps to understand the high prevalence of CM in HIV/AIDS but also facilitates the development of novel therapeutics for meningoencephalitis caused by C. neoformans and other pathogenic microorganisms.

COVID-19 , Cryptococcosis , Cryptococcus neoformans , HIV Infections , Meningoencephalitis , MicroRNAs , Animals , Brain/pathology , Cryptococcosis/microbiology , Cryptococcus neoformans/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Macaca , Meningoencephalitis/microbiology , Mice , MicroRNAs/genetics , Transcriptome
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 774340, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581380


Prevalence of fungal diseases has increased globally in recent years, which often associated with increased immunocompromised patients, aging populations, and the novel Coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, due to the limitation of available antifungal agents mortality and morbidity rates of invasion fungal disease remain stubbornly high, and the emergence of multidrug-resistant fungi exacerbates the problem. Fungal pathogenicity and interactions between fungi and host have been the focus of many studies, as a result, lots of pathogenic mechanisms and fungal virulence factors have been identified. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics is a novel approach to better understand fungal pathogenicities and host-pathogen interactions at protein and protein posttranslational modification (PTM) levels. The approach has successfully elucidated interactions between pathogens and hosts by examining, for example, samples of fungal cells under different conditions, body fluids from infected patients, and exosomes. Many studies conclude that protein and PTM levels in both pathogens and hosts play important roles in progression of fungal diseases. This review summarizes mass spectrometry studies of protein and PTM levels from perspectives of both pathogens and hosts and provides an integrative conceptual outlook on fungal pathogenesis, antifungal agents development, and host-pathogen interactions.

Host-Pathogen Interactions , Mycoses , Protein Processing, Post-Translational , Humans , Mass Spectrometry , Proteome/metabolism
Front Pharmacol ; 11: 607075, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1082545


From the perspective of epidemiology, viral immunology and current clinical research, pulmonary fibrosis may become one of the complications of patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cytokine storm is a major cause of new coronavirus death. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of antiviral drug arbidol on cytokine storm and pulmonary fibrosis. Here, we use a mouse model of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis and a mouse model of fecal dilution-induced sepsis to evaluate the effects of arbidol on pulmonary fibrosis and cytokine storm. The results showed that arbidol significantly reduced the area of pulmonary fibrosis and improved lung function (reduced inspiratory resistance, lung dynamic compliance and forced vital capacity increased). Treatment with arbidol promoted reduced sepsis severity 48 h after sepsis induction, based on weight, murine sepsis score and survival rate. Arbidol observably alleviates inflammatory infiltrates and injury in the lungs and liver. Finally, we also found that arbidol reduced serum levels of pro-inflammatory factors such as TNF-α and IL-6 induced by fecal dilution. In conclusion, our results indicate that arbidol can alleviate the severity of pulmonary fibrosis and sepsis, and provide some reference for the treatment of cytokine storm and sequelae of pulmonary fibrosis in patients with COVID-19.