Network-assisted genetic dissection of pathogenicity and drug resistance in the opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans

Hanhae Kim, Kwang Woo Jung, Shinae Maeng, Ying Lien Chen, Junha Shin, Jung Eun Shim, Sohyun Hwang, Guilhem Janbon, Taeyup Kim, Joseph Heitman, Yong Sun Bahn, Insuk Lee

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18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic human pathogenic fungus that causes meningoencephalitis. Due to the increasing global risk of cryptococcosis and the emergence of drug-resistant strains, the development of predictive genetics platforms for the rapid identification of novel genes governing pathogenicity and drug resistance of C. neoformans is imperative. The analysis of functional genomics data and genome-scale mutant libraries may facilitate the genetic dissection of such complex phenotypes but with limited efficiency. Here, we present a genome-scale co-functional network for C. neoformans, CryptoNet, which covers ∼81% of the coding genome and provides an efficient intermediary between functional genomics data and reverse-genetics resources for the genetic dissection of C. neoformans phenotypes. CryptoNet is the first genome-scale co-functional network for any fungal pathogen. CryptoNet effectively identified novel genes for pathogenicity and drug resistance using guilt-by-association and context-associated hub algorithms. CryptoNet is also the first genome-scale co-functional network for fungi in the basidiomycota phylum, as Saccharomyces cerevisiae belongs to the ascomycota phylum. CryptoNet may therefore provide insights into pathway evolution between two distinct phyla of the fungal kingdom. The CryptoNet web server (www.inetbio.org/cryptonet) is a public resource that provides an interactive environment of network-assisted predictive genetics for C. neoformans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8767
JournalScientific reports
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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