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Microstructure of Cell Wall-Associated Melanin in the Human Pathogenic Fungus cryptococcus neoformans

Eisenman, H.C., Nosanchuk, J.D., Webber, J. Beau W., Emerson, T.A., Casadevall, A. (2005) Microstructure of Cell Wall-Associated Melanin in the Human Pathogenic Fungus cryptococcus neoformans. Biochemistry, 44 (10). pp. 3683-3693. ISSN 0006-2960. (doi:10.1021/bi047731m) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:13463)

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Melanin is a virulence factor for many pathogenic fungal species,including Cryptococcus neoformans. Melanin is deposited in the cell wall, and melanin isolated from this fungus retains the shape of the cells, resulting in hollow spheres called ``ghosts''. In this study, atomic force, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that melanin ghosts are covered with roughly spherical granular particles approximately 40-130 nm in diameter, and that the melanin is arranged in multiple concentric layers. Nuclear magnetic resonance cryoporometry indicated melanin ghosts contain pores with diameters between 1 and 4 nm, in addition to a small number of pores with diameters near 30 nm. Binding of the antibodies to melanin reduced the apparent measured volume of these pores, suggesting a mechanism for their antifungal effect. We propose a model of cryptococcal melanin structure whereby the melanin granules are held together in layers. This structural model has implications for cell division, cell wall remodeling, and antifungal drug discovery.}

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1021/bi047731m
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: J.B.W. Webber
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2008 12:56 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Webber, J. Beau W..

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