Proteins secreted by the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans may be involved in invasion and could be useful in vaccine design. Despite the medical importance of this fungus, little is known about its extracellular proteins or the immune response to these antigens. To study C. neoformans extracellular proteins, 12 strains were metabolically radiolabeled and protein supernatants were analyzed. Both strain- and growth condition- dependent differences were observed. Enzymatic assays of filtered culture supernatants revealed butyrate esterase and caprylate esterase lipase activity for 11 of 12 strains, as well as acid phosphatase, naphthol-AS-BI- phosphohydrolase, and β-glucosidase activities in some strains. Serum from infected rodents immunoprecipitated several secreted proteins, consistent with in vivo expression and development of an antibody response. For strain 24067, two immunodominant species, of approximately 75 and 30 kDa, were recognized. The relative intensity of the autoradiographic bands depended on the route of infection for both rats and mice. In summary, our results indicate that (i) there are multiple proteins in C. neoformans culture supernatants, (ii) there are strain differences in supernatant protein profiles, (iii) there are differences in supernatant protein profile depending on the growth conditions, (iv) there are several new extracellular and/or cell-associated enzymatic activities, and (v) antibodies to several supernatant proteins are made in the course of infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases