Oxylipins as developmental and host-fungal communication signals


Tsitsigiannis DI, Keller NP

Date: 22 June 2007


Pathogenic microbes and their hosts have acquired complex signalling mechanisms to appraise themselves of the environmental milieu in the ongoing battle for survival. Several recent studies have implicated oxylipins as a novel class of host-microbe signalling molecules. Oxylipins represent a vast and diverse family of secondary metabolites that originate from the oxidation or further conversion of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Among the microbial oxylipins, the fungal oxylipins are best characterized and function as hormone-like signals that modulate the timing and balance between asexual and sexual spore development in addition to toxin production. Coupled with other studies that implicate a role for fungal oxylipins in pathogenesis by Aspergillus and Candida spp., these results suggest that host and microbial oxylipins might interfere with the metabolism, perception or signalling processes of each other.

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