Pathogenic Delivery: The Biological Roles of Cryptococcal Extracellular Vesicles

Pathogens. 2020 Sep 16;9(9):754. doi: 10.3390/pathogens9090754.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are produced by all domains of life. In fungi, these structures were first described in Cryptococcus neoformans and, since then, they were characterized in several pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungal species. Cryptococcal EVs participate in the export of virulence factors that directly impact the Cryptococcus-host interaction. Our knowledge of the biogenesis and pathogenic roles of Cryptococcus EVs is still limited, but recent methodological and scientific advances have improved our understanding of how cryptococcal EVs participate in both physiological and pathogenic events. In this review, we will discuss the importance of cryptococcal EVs, including early historical studies suggesting their existence in Cryptococcus, their putative mechanisms of biogenesis, methods of isolation, and possible roles in the interaction with host cells.

Keywords: Cryptococcus spp.; biogenesis; extracellular vesicle analysis; extracellular vesicles.

Publication types

  • Review