The putative autophagy regulator Atg7 affects the physiology and pathogenic mechanisms of Cryptococcus neoformans

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Aim: We investigated the involvement of the autophagy protein 7 (Atg7) in physiology and pathogenic potential of Cryptococcus neoformans. Materials & methods: The C. neoformans gene encoding Atg7 was deleted by biolistic transformation for characterization of autophagy mechanisms, pigment formation, cell dimensions, interaction with phagocytes and pathogenic potential in vivo. Results & conclusion: ATG7 deletion resulted in defective autophagy mechanisms, enhanced pigmentation and increased cellular size both in vitro and in vivo.

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