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Cryptococcosis is a life-threatening infection is primarily caused by two sibling species Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. Several virulence-related factors of these cryptococci have been widely investigated in Caenorhabditis elegans, representing a facile in vivo model of host-pathogen interaction. While recent studies elucidated cryptococcal virulence factors, intrinsic host factors that affect susceptibility to infections by cryptococci remain unclear and poorly investigated. Here, we showed that defects in C. elegans insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling (IIS) pathway influenced animal lifespan and mechanisms of host resistance in cryptococcal infections, which required the activation of aging regulator DAF-16/Forkhead box O transcription factor. Moreover, accumulation of lipofuscin, DAF-16 nuclear localization, and expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD-3) were elevated in C. elegans due to host defenses during cryptococcal infections. The present study demonstrated the relationship between longevity and immunity, which may provide a possibility for novel therapeutic intervention to improve host resistance against cryptococcal infections. © 2022. The Author(s).


Thitinan Kitisin, Watcharamat Muangkaew, Passanesh Sukphopetch. Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-16 regulates lifespan and immune responses to Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii infections. BMC microbiology. 2022 Jun 22;22(1):162

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PMID: 35733100

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