Harnessing calcineurin as a novel anti-infective agent against invasive fungal infections

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2007 Jun;5(6):418-30. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1680.


The number of immunocompromised patients with invasive fungal infections continues to increase and new antifungal therapies are not keeping pace with the growing incidence of these infections and their associated mortality. Calcineurin inhibition is currently used to exert effective immunosuppression following organ transplantation and in treating various other conditions. However, the calcineurin pathway is also intricately involved in the growth and pathogenesis of the three major fungal pathogens of humans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus, and the exploitation of fungal calcineurin pathways holds great promise for the future development of novel antifungal agents. This Review summarizes our current understanding of calcineurin biology in these fungal species, and its exciting potential role in treating invasive fungal infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Calcineurin / chemistry
  • Calcineurin / physiology*
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors*
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Fungi / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mycoses / drug therapy*
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Calcineurin