Epithelial cells are the first point of contact between the host and pathogenic microbes. During mucosal infection, the fungal pathogen Candida albicans secretes candidalysin, a peptide toxin that induces epithelial damage, calcium influx and mitochondrial dysfunction, which consequently affect cellular metabolism, immune responses, and ultimately cell death. Currently, the mechanisms by which candidalysin induces calcium influx and mitochondrial dysfunction is unknown. This project aims to determine how candidalysin exerts its cellular effects via calcium and mitochondrial signalling.
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