Inhibition of CBLB protects from lethal Candida albicans sepsis.

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Nat Med. 2016 Aug;22(8):915-23. doi: 10.1038/nm.4134. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

Inhibition of CBLB protects from lethal Candida albicans sepsis.

G Wirnsberger;F Zwolanek;T Asaoka;I Kozieradzki;L Tortola;RA Wimmer;A Kavirayani;F Fresser;G Baier;WY Langdon;F Ikeda;K Kuchler;JM Penninger

Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA), Vienna, Austria. Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL), Department of Medical Biochemistry, Vienna, Austria. Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities (VBCF), Vienna, Austria. Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria. University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

Service type: Knock-in mice


Fungal infections claim an estimated 1.5 million lives each year. Mechanisms that protect from fungal infections are still elusive. Recognition of fungal pathogens relies on C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) and their downstream signaling kinase SYK. Here we report that the E3 ubiquitin ligase CBLB controls proximal CLR signaling in macrophages and dendritic cells. We show that CBLB associates with SYK and ubiquitinates SYK, dectin-1, and dectin-2 after fungal recognition. Functionally, CBLB deficiency results in increased inflammasome activation, enhanced reactive oxygen species production, and increased fungal killing. Genetic deletion of Cblb protects mice from morbidity caused by cutaneous infection and markedly improves survival after a lethal systemic infection with Candida albicans. On the basis of these findings, we engineered a cell-permeable CBLB inhibitory peptide that protects mice from lethal C. albicans infections. We thus describe a key role for Cblb in the regulation of innate antifungal immunity and establish a novel paradigm for the treatment of fungal sepsis.

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