Oxygen-responsive transcriptional regulation of lipid homeostasis in fungi: Implications for anti-fungal drug development

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2018 Sep;81:110-120. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.08.043. Epub 2017 Aug 26.


Low oxygen adaptation is essential for aerobic fungi that must survive in varied oxygen environments. Pathogenic fungi in particular must adapt to the low oxygen host tissue environment in order to cause infection. Maintenance of lipid homeostasis is especially important for cell growth and proliferation, and is a highly oxygen-dependent process. In this review, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of the transcriptional regulation and coordination of the low oxygen response across fungal species, paying particular attention to pathogenic fungi. Comparison of lipid homeostasis pathways in these organisms suggests common mechanisms of transcriptional regulation and points toward untapped potential to target low oxygen adaptation in antifungal development.

Keywords: Anti-fungal drug; Fungi; Hypoxia; Lipid metabolism; Transcription.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Drug Development
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Fungi / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Homeostasis / genetics*
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Oxygen