Fungal LysM effectors: extinguishers of host immunity?

Trends Microbiol. 2009 Apr;17(4):151-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2009.01.002. Epub 2009 Mar 18.


Lysin motifs (LysMs) have been recognized in prokaryotes and plants as carbohydrate-binding protein modules. Recently, a novel virulence factor with LysMs was characterized from the plant pathogenic fungus Cladosporium fulvum. Here, we present a survey of public sequence data of 70 fungal species to demonstrate that putatively secreted LysM-containing proteins are widespread in the fungal kingdom, as they are found in mammalian and plant pathogenic species, in addition to saprophytes. We propose that these putative LysM effectors might have a role in sequestration of chitin oligosaccharides - breakdown products of fungal cell walls that are released during invasion and act as triggers of host immunity - to dampen host defence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Animals
  • Cladosporium / chemistry
  • Cladosporium / genetics
  • Cladosporium / immunology*
  • Cladosporium / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / immunology*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Mycoses / immunology*
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Plant Diseases / immunology*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • saccharide-binding proteins