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Secreted Metalloprotease Gene Family of Microsporum canis

By Frédéric Brouta, Frédéric Descamps, Michel Monod, Sandy Vermout, Bertrand Losson and Bernard Mignon


Keratinolytic proteases secreted by dermatophytes are likely to be virulence-related factors. Microsporum canis, the main agent of dermatophytosis in dogs and cats, causes a zoonosis that is frequently reported. Using Aspergillus fumigatus metalloprotease genomic sequence (MEP) as a probe, three genes (MEP1, MEP2, and MEP3) were isolated from an M. canis genomic library. They presented a quite-high percentage of identity with both A. fumigatus MEP and Aspergillus oryzae neutral protease I genes. At the amino acid level, they all contained an HEXXH consensus sequence, confirming that these M. canis genes (MEP genes) encode a zinc-containing metalloprotease gene family. Furthermore, MEP3 was found to be the gene encoding a previously isolated M. canis 43.5-kDa keratinolytic metalloprotease, and was successfully expressed as an active recombinant enzyme in Pichia pastoris. Reverse transcriptase nested PCR performed on total RNA extracted from the hair of M. canis-infected guinea pigs showed that at least MEP2 and MEP3 are produced during the infection process. This is the first report describing the isolation of a gene family encoding potential virulence-related factors in dermatophytes

Topics: Fungal and Parasitic Infections
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2002
DOI identifier: 10.1128/IAI.70.10.5676-5683.2002
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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