Contact: Tuo Wang
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — In a new study published in Nature Communications, MagLab user and Associate Professor Tuo Wang and his research team from the Department of Chemistry at Louisiana State University revealed the molecular architecture of fungal cell walls and the structural responses to stresses, aiding the development of antifungal drugs targeting cell wall components.
Life-threatening fungal infections impact the health of millions of humans across the globe each year. With the limited efficacy of commercially available drugs, the need for novel antifungal compounds is on the rise.
With the help of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's 800 MHz NMR magnet and HCN probe, the Wang research team examined the structural dynamics of fungal polysaccharides and their responses to cell wall stress. Wang explains that the sensitivity and resolution of these instruments were key to this study. Specifically, the team examined the cell wall of Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungal pathogen that causes life-threatening disease in immunocompromised individuals.