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SSHD molecules



The protein encoded by CARD 9 plays an important role in helping neutrophils to engulf and kill fungal and other infectious agents and their spores. The SSHD-CAR9 molecule promotes the activity and increase the gene product made by CARD9, thus assist in fungal infections.

What does the Card 9 gene do?

There are many fungal infective agents such as Candida (C. albicans) that cause a wide range of chronic forms of ill-health. One type of white blood cell, the neutrophil, plays a vital role in engulfing and killing of many bacteria as well as fungi such as C. Albicans, the thrush causing fungus. C. albicans exists in a number of different forms. Neutrophils are able to capture and kill all of these different forms [1].

Recently, scientists have found that a protein encoded by the CARD 9 gene called caspase recruitment domain-containing protein 9, an adaptor molecule in the cytosol of neutrophils, is not only required to help them kill fungal infective agents, but also to help other immuno-competent cells to mount an immune responses against fungi and many other infectious agents. They have also shown that reduced levels of the CARD 9 gene product decrease the ability of neutrophils to kill fungi such as C. albicans and other infectious agents [2].


  1. Urban et al., Neutrophil extracellular traps capture and kill Candida albicans yeast and hyphal forms. Cell Microbiol. 2006, 8, 668.
  2. Drewniak et al., Invasive fungal infection and impaired neutrophil killing in human CARD9 deficiency.Blood. 2013, 121, 2385. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-08-450551.

Want to know more?

For more information about this SSHD molecule, contact your healthcare practitioner or arrange an appointment using our clinic.

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