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FEMS Yeast Res. 2006 Jun;6(4):513-24.

The molecular basis for the immunogenicity of Cryptococcus neoformans mannoproteins.

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Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


T-cell-mediated immunity is necessary for effective host defenses against infections caused by Cryptococcus neoformans. Clinical and experimental studies have identified a heterogeneous family of mannoproteins as critical cryptococcal antigens responsible for stimulating T-cell responses. The archetypal mannoprotein has a signal sequence, a functional domain, a serine/threonine-rich region and a site for attachment of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor. Extensive O-mannosylation, which occurs at the serine/threonine region, facilitates recognition by mannose receptors on antigen-presenting cells, particularly dendritic cells. This results in efficient antigen uptake, processing and presentation to T cells. Inhibition of mannose receptors or deglycosylation of mannoproteins profoundly inhibits T-cell responses, demonstrating the crucial contribution of mannosylation to immunogenicity.

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