Microstructure of cell wall-associated melanin in the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans

Helene C. Eisenman, Joshua D. Nosanchuk, J. Beau W Webber, Ray J. Emerson, Terri A. Camesano, Arturo Casadevall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3683-3693
Number of pages11
JournalBiochemistry
Volume44
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2005

Fingerprint

Cryptococcus neoformans
Melanins
Fungi
Cell Wall
Cells
Microstructure
Cell Shape
Structural Models
Virulence Factors
Drug Discovery
Transmission Electron Microscopy
Cell Division
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Nuclear magnetic resonance
Electrons
Transmission electron microscopy
Scanning
Antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Eisenman, H. C., Nosanchuk, J. D., Webber, J. B. W., Emerson, R. J., Camesano, T. A., & Casadevall, A. (2005). Microstructure of cell wall-associated melanin in the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. Biochemistry, 44(10), 3683-3693. https://doi.org/10.1021/bi047731m

Microstructure of cell wall-associated melanin in the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. / Eisenman, Helene C.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Webber, J. Beau W; Emerson, Ray J.; Camesano, Terri A.; Casadevall, Arturo.

In: Biochemistry, Vol. 44, No. 10, 15.03.2005, p. 3683-3693.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Eisenman, HC, Nosanchuk, JD, Webber, JBW, Emerson, RJ, Camesano, TA & Casadevall, A 2005, 'Microstructure of cell wall-associated melanin in the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans', Biochemistry, vol. 44, no. 10, pp. 3683-3693. https://doi.org/10.1021/bi047731m
Eisenman, Helene C. ; Nosanchuk, Joshua D. ; Webber, J. Beau W ; Emerson, Ray J. ; Camesano, Terri A. ; Casadevall, Arturo. / Microstructure of cell wall-associated melanin in the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. In: Biochemistry. 2005 ; Vol. 44, No. 10. pp. 3683-3693.
@article{4af2c74c6c8540d9b164606f7eae5dfa,
title = "Microstructure of cell wall-associated melanin in the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans",
abstract = "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.",
author = "Eisenman, {Helene C.} and Nosanchuk, {Joshua D.} and Webber, {J. Beau W} and Emerson, {Ray J.} and Camesano, {Terri A.} and Arturo Casadevall",
year = "2005",
month = "3",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1021/bi047731m",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "44",
pages = "3683--3693",
journal = "Biochemistry",
issn = "0006-2960",
publisher = "American Chemical Society",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Microstructure of cell wall-associated melanin in the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans

AU - Eisenman, Helene C.

AU - Nosanchuk, Joshua D.

AU - Webber, J. Beau W

AU - Emerson, Ray J.

AU - Camesano, Terri A.

AU - Casadevall, Arturo

PY - 2005/3/15

Y1 - 2005/3/15

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=14844358088&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=14844358088&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1021/bi047731m

DO - 10.1021/bi047731m

M3 - Article

C2 - 15751945

AN - SCOPUS:14844358088

VL - 44

SP - 3683

EP - 3693

JO - Biochemistry

JF - Biochemistry

SN - 0006-2960

IS - 10

ER -