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Yeast. 2014 Jan;31(1):1-11. doi: 10.1002/yea.2983. Epub 2013 Nov 28.

α-(1,4)-Amylase, but not α- and β-(1,3)-glucanases, may be responsible for the impaired growth and morphogenesis of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis induced by N-glycosylation inhibition.

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Departamento de Biologia Celular e Molecular e Bioagentes Patogênicos, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, Ribeirão Preto, SP, 14049-900, Brasil.


The cell wall of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, which consists of a network of polysaccharides and glycoproteins, is essential for fungal pathogenesis. We have previously reported that N-glycosylation of proteins such as N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase is required for the growth and morphogenesis of P. brasiliensis. In the present study, we investigated the influence of tunycamicin (TM)-mediated inhibition of N-linked glycosylation on α- and β-(1,3)-glucanases and on α-(1,4)-amylase in P. brasiliensis yeast and mycelium cells. The addition of 15 µg/ml TM to the fungal cultures did not interfere with either α- or β-(1,3)-glucanase production and secretion. Moreover, incubation with TM did not alter α- and β-(1,3)-glucanase activity in yeast and mycelium cell extracts. In contrast, α-(1,4)-amylase activity was significantly reduced in underglycosylated yeast and mycelium extracts after exposure to TM. In spite of its importance for fungal growth and morphogenesis, N-glycosylation was not required for glucanase activities. This is surprising because these activities are directed to wall components that are crucial for fungal morphogenesis. On the other hand, N-glycans were essential for α-(1,4)-amylase activity involved in the production of malto-oligosaccharides that act as primer molecules for the biosynthesis of α-(1,3)-glucan. Our results suggest that reduced fungal α-(1,4)-amylase activity affects cell wall composition and may account for the impaired growth of underglycosylated yeast and mycelium cells.


N-glycan; Paracoccidioides brasiliensis; amylase; cell wall; glucanase

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