Candida, a special type of fungi.

Candidalysin is a peptide toxin that is generated by the yeast, Candida albicans. C. albicans is an interesting type of yeast, because typically yeasts are a type of fungi that do not form hypha, the long, filamentous structures commonly associated with fungi.  However, C. albicans can be induced to form hyphae, in a reversible process. It is ordinarily benign and naturally occurring in the human mucosal microbiota, but when given the opportunity of a weakened immune system, it can become lethal and is responsible for almost half a million deaths per year, worldwide.1,2 This month in Nature Communications, a team led by Lydia Kasper looked at the missing link between C. albicans hypha formation and host cell formation.  Candidalysin is secreted by the hypha of C. albicans and triggers inflammasome-dependent cytolysis through Caspase-1 activation.  It also is a key driver of inflammosome-independent cytolysis of macrophages. Their work found “Candidalysin as the first fungal toxin with such dual action on phagocytes of the innate immune system.”Read more about their research here.


  1. S. Pasricha & J. S. Pearson, Cell Death Discovery, 2, 16035 (2016).
  2. D. L. Moyes et al., Nature, 532(7597), 64 (2016).
  3. L. Kasper et al., Nature Communications, 9, 4260 (2018).

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Denise Karounos

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Denise Karounos joined Peptides International in October 2016. After completing her BS in chemistry from West Virginia University, she spent time as an organic chemist at Bachem Bioscience synthesizing peptides and amino acid derivatives. Denise has experience with both solid and solution-phase peptide synthesis, and has worked under both research and cGMP settings. After completing her MBA from Saint Joseph’s University, Denise transitioned into product management of peptides and amino acid derivatives. In her marketing role, she had many duties including but not limited to product management, market research, creating and producing marketing materials, handling US catalog distribution and customer database, email marketing, quoting and inside sales, sales calls, and coordinating and attending trade conferences. 

At PI, Denise's duties encompass both sales and marketing, bringing to bear her extensive lab and sales support experience. Contact her today and see how Denise can assist you with your peptide research project.