Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Isolation and Characterization of Cryptococcus neoformans Spores Reveal a Critical Role for Capsule Biosynthesis Genes in Spore Biogenesis▿

By Michael R. Botts, Steven S. Giles, Marcellene A. Gates, Thomas R. Kozel and Christina M. Hull

Abstract

Spores are essential particles for the survival of many organisms, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic. Among the eukaryotes, fungi have developed spores with superior resistance and dispersal properties. For the human fungal pathogens, however, relatively little is known about the role that spores play in dispersal and infection. Here we present the purification and characterization of spores from the environmental fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. For the first time, we purified spores to homogeneity and assessed their morphological, stress resistance, and surface properties. We found that spores are morphologically distinct from yeast cells and are covered with a thick spore coat. Spores are also more resistant to environmental stresses than yeast cells and display a spore-specific configuration of polysaccharides on their surfaces. Surprisingly, we found that the surface of the spore reacts with antibodies to the polysaccharide glucuronoxylomannan, the most abundant component of the polysaccharide capsule required for C. neoformans virulence. We explored the role of capsule polysaccharide in spore development by assessing spore formation in a series of acapsular strains and determined that capsule biosynthesis genes are required for proper sexual development and normal spore formation. Our findings suggest that C. neoformans spores may have an adapted cell surface that facilitates persistence in harsh environments and ultimately allows them to infect mammalian hosts

Topics: Articles
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2669189
Provided by: PubMed Central
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g... (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.