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Int J Med Microbiol. 2008 Oct;298(7-8):669-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2007.11.005. Epub 2008 Jan 28.

Trichophyton rubrum secreted and membrane-associated carboxypeptidases.

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Service de Dermatologie et Vénéréologie, Laboratoire de Mycologie, BT422, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Dermatophytes are the most common agents of superficial mycoses, and exclusively infect stratum corneum, nails or hair. Therefore, secreted proteolytic activity is considered a virulence trait of these fungi. In a medium containing protein as a sole nitrogen and carbon source Trichophyton rubrum secretes a metallocarboxypeptidase (TruMcpA) of the M14 family according to the MEROPS proteolytic enzyme database. TruMcpA is homologous to human pancreatic carboxypeptidase A, and is synthesized as a precursor in a preproprotein form. The propeptide is removed to generate the mature active enzyme alternatively by either one of two subtilisins which are concomitantly secreted by the fungus. In addition, T. rubrum was shown to possess two genes (TruSCPA and TruSCPB) encoding serine carboxypeptidases of the S10 family which are homologues of the previously characterized Aspergillus and Penicillium secreted acid carboxypeptidases. However, in contrast to the Aspergillus and Penicillium homologues, TruScpA and TruScpB enzymes are not secreted into the environment, but are membrane-associated with a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. During infection, T. rubrum secreted and GPI-anchored carboxypeptidases may contribute to fungal virulence by cooperating with previously characterized endoproteases and aminopeptidases in the degradation of compact keratinized tissues into assimilable amino acids and short peptides.

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