Logo of iaiPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalIAI ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
Infect Immun. May 1983; 40(2): 478–485.
PMCID: PMC264880

Relationship of progesterone- and estradiol-binding proteins in Coccidioides immitis to coccidioidal dissemination in pregnancy.


Pregnancy is a major risk factor for coccidioidal dissemination. Because rates of Coccidioides immitis growth and endospore release are stimulated in vitro by levels of unbound progesterone and 17 beta-estradiol that are achievable, in vivo, in the sera of pregnant women (i.e., 10(-9) to 10(-8) M), a specific-hormone-binding system in C. immitis was sought. Fungal cytosols were incubated with tritiated steroids plus or minus radioinert steroids to identify specific binding systems. All five strains of C. immitis tested exhibited specific saturable binding for progestin, estrogen, androgen, and (to a lesser extent) corticosterone and glucocorticoid hormone classes. Only low or inconsistent estrogen or androgen binding was found in Blastomyces dermatitidis and Torulopsis glabrata. Cryptococcus neoformans, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, and non-albicans Candida species showed no binding. Scatchard analysis of progestin and estrogen binding in C. immitis revealed a high-capacity, low-affinity binding system that was unaffected by RNase and DNase, but 40 to 60% degraded by trypsin or heating. Ammonium sulfate precipitation resolved a high-affinity, low-capacity binding system (Kd = 1.24 X 10(-9) to 3.60 X 10(-8) M; number of binding sites = 0.014 to 0.20 pmol/mg of protein). The Kd of this system is sufficient to compete for unbound hormone in the sera of pregnant women. The high-capacity, low-affinity system may serve as a repository for hormone before its attachment to the specific binder. These studies suggest that the effects of nanomolar concentrations of sex hormones on C. immitis may be mediated by a specific cytosol protein-binding system and that stimulatory events observed in vitro may have relevance for the mechanism of coccidioidal dissemination in pregnancy.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.3M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Bradford MM. A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem. 1976 May 7;72:248–254. [PubMed]
  • Clark JH, Peck EJ., Jr Female sex steroids: receptors and function. Monogr Endocrinol. 1979;14:I–245. [PubMed]
  • Drutz DJ, Catanzaro A. Coccidioidomycosis. Part I. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1978 Mar;117(3):559–585. [PubMed]
  • Drutz DJ, Huppert M, Sun SH, McGuire WL. Human sex hormones stimulate the growth and maturation of Coccidioides immitis. Infect Immun. 1981 May;32(2):897–907. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Edwards DP, McGuire WL. 17 alpha-Estradiol is a biologically active estrogen in human breast cancer cells in tissue culture. Endocrinology. 1980 Oct;107(4):884–891. [PubMed]
  • Feldman D, Do Y, Burshell A, Stathis P, Loose DS. An estrogen-binding protein and endogenous ligand in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: possible hormone receptor system. Science. 1982 Oct 15;218(4569):297–298. [PubMed]
  • Horwitz KB, Costlow ME, McGuire WL. MCF-7; a human breast cancer cell line with estrogen, androgen, progesterone, and glucocorticoid receptors. Steroids. 1975 Dec;26(6):785–795. [PubMed]
  • Horwitz KB, McGuire WL. Estrogen control of progesterone receptor in human breast cancer. Correlation with nuclear processing of estrogen receptor. J Biol Chem. 1978 Apr 10;253(7):2223–2228. [PubMed]
  • Huppert M, Sun SH, Gross AJ. Evaluation of an experimental animal model for testing antifungal substances. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1972 May;1(5):367–372. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Katzenellenbogen BS, Katzenellenbogen JA, Mordecai D. Zearalenones: characterization of the estrogenic potencies and receptor interactions of a series of fungal beta-resorcylic acid lactones. Endocrinology. 1979 Jul;105(1):33–40. [PubMed]
  • Klotz IM. Numbers of receptor sites from Scatchard graphs: facts and fantasies. Science. 1982 Sep 24;217(4566):1247–1249. [PubMed]
  • LEVINE HB, COBB JM, SMITH CE. Immunity to coccidioi-domycosis induced in mice by purified spherule, arthrospore, and mycelial vaccines. Trans N Y Acad Sci. 1960 Apr;22:436–449. [PubMed]
  • Loose DS, Feldman D. Characterization of a unique corticosterone-binding protein in Candida albicans. J Biol Chem. 1982 May 10;257(9):4925–4930. [PubMed]
  • Loose DS, Schurman DJ, Feldman D. A corticosteroid binding protein and endogenous ligand in C. albicans indicating a possible steroid-receptor system. Nature. 1981 Oct 8;293(5832):477–479. [PubMed]
  • Martin PM, Horwitz KB, Ryan DS, McGuire WL. Phytoestrogen interaction with estrogen receptors in human breast cancer cells. Endocrinology. 1978 Nov;103(5):1860–1867. [PubMed]
  • Powell BL, Drutz DJ. Confirmation of corticosterone and progesterone binding activity in Candida albicans. J Infect Dis. 1983 Feb;147(2):359–359. [PubMed]
  • Soule HD, Vazguez J, Long A, Albert S, Brennan M. A human cell line from a pleural effusion derived from a breast carcinoma. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1973 Nov;51(5):1409–1416. [PubMed]
  • Sun SH, Huppert M. A cytological study of morphogenesis in Coccidioides immitis. Sabouraudia. 1976 Jul;14(2):185–198. [PubMed]

Articles from Infection and Immunity are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...