Analysis of the Differentially Expressed Genes of Cryptococcus neoformans -Infected Macrophage Mouse Cells

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Frantzen, Niah
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn), a facultative intracellular pathogen, causes 223,000 infections and 181,000 deaths yearly. When Cn comes into contact with the alveoli of an immunocompromised individual through the inhalation of the pathogen’s spores, immune cells such as macrophages are recruited to attack; however, Cn can infect these cells, leading to fatal infections. During intracellular infection, the pathogen and host can influence each other. To study the gene expression effects of Cn on macrophages through an unbiased approach, RNA sequencing was used to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and therefore, biological pathways affected by Cn in two different macrophage polarization states. DEGs specific to infection in the M1 or M2 polarization state or infection regardless of polarization state were identified and characterized by biological pathways to provide a deeper understanding of the host and pathogen interaction, as well as host target genes that might be used to develop more effective therapies.
College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Macrophage, Cryptococcus, gene expression