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The molecular mechanisms of fungal polar growth maintenance necessary for pathogenicity revealed

The research was published in the top scientific journal eLIFE

Research by the team of Prof. George Diallinas at the Department of Biology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, reveals novel molecular mechanisms that plays an important role in fungal growth development through polarity establishment at the cellular level.

In particular, Olga Martzoukou, Sotiris Amillis, Amalia Zervakou, Savvas Christoforidis and George Diallinas, uncovered that the AP-2 adaptor protein complex of fungi has a different role from its homologue in human cells, being recruited in localized endocytosis and recycling of specific proteins and enzymes necessary for plasma membrane and cell wall biosynthesis taking place at the growing tips of fungal cells, rather than being involved in general, clathrin-dependent, endocytosis of receptors and transporters. These findings unmask the molecular details on how filamentous fungi establish their polar mode of growth that is necessary for virulence, and thus may provide a step towards the development of novel targeted pharmacological approaches against threatening fungal pathogens. Additionally, Diallinas’ group findings provide hints on how polar cells, like for example mammalian neurons, might establish and maintain cell polarity.

The research was published in the top scientific journal eLIFE on the 21st of February 2017 (https://elifesciences.org/content/6/e20083).