On September 15, 2015, the research result of Professor Ding Chen’ s research group in the School of Life Sciences and Health at NEU, “Cryptococcal Hsf3 controls intramitochondrial ROS homeostasis by regulating the respiratory process”, was published online in the international journal Nature Communications. Gao Xindi, a 2015 direct doctoral student of our university, is the first author of this paper, and Professor Ding Chen of the School of Life Sciences and Health is the corresponding author of this paper. NEU is the first independent completion unit and communication unit.
Severe fungal infections are a medical challenge threatening human health. Globally, more than 1.6 million people die from fungal infections each year. At the same time, recent studies have identified co-morbid foci of Cryptococcus and COVID-19, making the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 - Cryptococcus combined pneumonia more difficult and reducing the recovery rate. Due to the lack of effective drugs against severe fungal infections, the medical community is helpless in acute intrapulmonary infections and meningoencephalitis caused by Cryptococcus. If people are not treated in time, the mortality rate is up to 100%. This is a great threat to human health. Based on this, the National Fungal Disease Surveillance Network was established by the National Health Commission in 2020 to monitor and warn of serious fungal outbreaks and epidemics in China.
Prof. Ding Chen’s team has been committed to various studies on the pathogenesis of Cryptococcus, deeply investigating the pathogenesis of Cryptococcus and developing corresponding clinical treatment plans from the perspectives of epigenetics, metal ion metabolism, and molecular mechanisms of drug resistance. Prof. Ding Chen has been an expert member of the “National Fungal Disease Surveillance Network” since 2020, leading his team to elaborate on the pathogenesis of severe fungal diseases in Nature Communications, Communications Biology, Emerging Infectious Disease and other internationally renowned journals. Several articles related to the pathogenesis of Cryptococcus were published with Northeast University as the communication unit. After eight years of intensive research, they have once again made important results in this field. This study systematically elucidates the important link between the homeostatic regulation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) involved in fungal pathogenicity, which enables us to further understand the diversity and specificity of fungi adapting to extreme environments, and to have a more comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating mitochondrial homeostasis, providing an important theoretical basis for mitochondrial protection mechanisms in Cryptococcus, and offering new opportunities for the development of drugs and treatments for diseases with specific targets in Cryptococcus.