Science September 8, 2017
Survivin' neutrophil surveillance

Spores of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus are constantly inhaled.

Humans constantly inhale fungal spores. Why don't we suffer more invasive infections from ubiquitous fungal molds such as Aspergillus fumigatus? Working in mice, Shlezinger et al. found that neutrophils phagocytosed germinating fungal spores deep in the lungs (see the Perspective by Wiesner and Klein). Once engulfed, the fungal cells underwent programmed cell death, likely induced by phagocyte NADPH oxidase. Fungal strains engineered to overexpress a fungal survivin homolog resisted cell death by inhibiting caspase-3 and -7. When a Survivin antagonist was applied, more fungal cells died. These findings may lead to therapies for immunocompromised patients threatened by invasive fungal lung infections.

Science, 08 Sep 2017: 357, p. 1037; see also p. 973


Sterilizing immunity in the lung relies on targeting fungal apoptosis-like programmed cell death

Neta Shlezinger1,
Henriette Irmer2,
Sourabh Dhingra3,
Sarah R. Beattie3,
Robert A. Cramer3,
Gerhard H. Braus2,
Amir Sharon4,*,
Tobias M. Hohl1,5,*

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Science 08 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6355, pp. 1037-1041
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan0365