Quitinases humanas e infecções fúngicas

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Universidade Federal de Goiás


This work deals with a systematic review of the intrinsic mechanisms used by humans to fight fungal infections, focusing on chitinases, discussing the main enzymes and gene polymorphism with them involved. Fungal infections are increasingly common in the world, being considered one of the main causes of death in immunocompromised and immunosuppressive patients. Diagnoses and treatments for these infections are still limited and prophylaxis through vaccines is still far from being achieved. Fungi, in general, have chitin in their cell wall, the second most abundant polymer in nature, not found in humans. However, enzymes capable of degrading it, called chitinases, are synthesized by them. Human chitinases are found in the family 18 of glycosyl hydrolases, of which only chitotriosidase (QT), mammalian acid chitinase (AMCase) and di-N-acetyl-chitobiase have chitinolytic activity. QT and AMCase are the most reported chitinases in humans and differ mainly in terms of the chitin cleavage region and the immune response that leads to their expression. The enzymatic activity of chitinases has been observed in several diseases, including fungal infections such as candidiasis, mycetoma and aspergillosis. It is believed that these enzymes act on the innate immune system against pathogenic fungi and their absence or inactivity leads to susceptibility to these organisms. Polymorphisms associated with genes encoding chitinases, especially QT, have been recently described. The duplication of 24 bp in exon 10 of the gene that expresses QT results in a protein with enzyme deficiency. Therefore, this review seeks to gather existing data on fungal infections, their relationship with chitinases, discussing the influence of gene polymorphisms on the chitinolytic activity of these enzymes against pathogenic fungi.



FARIAS, A. N. Quitinases humanas e infecções fúngicas. 2023. 41 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Biologia da Relação Parasito-Hospedeiro) - Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, 2023.