G-protein signalling pathways are involved in sensing the environment, enabling fungi to coordinate cell function, metabolism and development with their surroundings, thereby promoting their survival, propagation and virulence. G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest class of cell surface receptors in fungi. Despite the apparent importance of GPCR signalling to fungal biology and virulence, relatively few GPCR–G-protein interactions, and even fewer receptor-binding ligands, have been identified. Approximately 40% of current pharmaceuticals target human GPCRs, due to their cell surface location and central role in cell signalling. Fungal GPCRs do not belong to any of the mammalian receptor classes, making them druggable targets for antifungal development. This Review Article evaluates developments in our understanding of fungal GPCR-mediated signalling, while substantiating the rationale for considering these receptors as potential antifungal targets. The need for insights into the structure–function relationship of receptor–ligand interactions is highlighted, which could facilitate the development of receptor-interfering compounds that could be used in disease control.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Microbiology (medical)
- Cell Biology