Paracoccin, an N-acetyl-glucosamine-binding lectin of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, is involved in fungal growth.

Departamento de Microbiologia, Imunologia e Parasitologia, Disciplina de Biologia Celular, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Botucatu 862, São Paulo 04023-062, Brazil.
Microbes and Infection (Impact Factor: 2.92). 06/2007; 9(6):695-703. DOI: 10.1016/j.micinf.2007.02.012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Paracoccin is an N-acetyl-glucosamine-binding lectin from Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, which can be obtained in small amounts either from culture supernatants or yeast cell extracts. In the present work, immunoelectron microscopy with mouse anti-paracoccin IgG localized the antigen to the cell wall of P. brasiliensis yeast forms. Paracoccin interacted with chitin, and colocalized with beta-1,4-homopolymer of GlcNAc to the budding sites of P. brasiliensis yeast cell. In order to evaluate the role of paracoccin on fungal growth, yeast cells were cultivated in the presence of anti-paracoccin antibodies. A significant reduction of both colony forming units and individual yeast cells was observed as well as morphological alterations such as smaller colonies and cells more loosely aggregated than in control cultures without the antibody. A role of paracoccin on the cell wall organization was reinforced by alterations in the labeling pattern of chitin when yeasts were treated with anti-paracoccin antibodies. Binding of specific antibodies to paracoccin may disrupt the paracoccin/chitin interactions, resulting in the inhibition of P. brasiliensis growth.

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