Candidalysin is "Bioactive Compound of the year 2017"
The prize of the Leibniz Research Alliance has been allocated to three scientists of the HKI
Selene Mogavero, Bernhard Hube and Duncan Wilson from the HKI together with Thomas Gutsmann from the Forschungszentrum Borstel were honoured for the discovery of the "Leibniz Compound of the year 2017".
Together with their colleagues from Aberdeen and London the scientists found for the first time a true toxin in the human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. They named the toxin Candidalysin, because it destroys (lyses) host cells by perforating ist membranes. Furthermore, the molecule is critical for the immune system of the host: As soon as the fungus starts attaching to and damaging the host cell, the host is able to recognize the toxin and the thereby fungus. Candidalysin opens up the door for a better understanding of the infection process as such, but also for novel therapeutic approaches.
The Leibniz Research Alliance "Bioactive Compounds and Biotechnology" awarded the prize for the excellent work during the Leibniz Conference on Bioactive Compounds, which took place from 10th to 11th April 2017 in Freising. The winners received a medal, a certificate and 2000 Euros prize money. Selene Mogavero, Italian Postdoc at the HKI and research member of FungiNet Project C1, is first author of the Nature publication on the discovery of Candidalysin and presented the work during the conference.
The Leibniz Research Alliance "Bioactive Compounds and Biotechnology" is funded by the Leibniz Association and awards the prize annually for important research activities in the field of bioactive compounds.