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Molecular Biology

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2021

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Full-Text Articles in Organisms

Cryptococcus Neoformans Melanization Incorporates Multiple Catecholamines To Produce Polytypic Melanin, Rosanna P. Baker, Christine Chrissian, Ruth E. Stark, Arturo Casadevall Dec 2021

Cryptococcus Neoformans Melanization Incorporates Multiple Catecholamines To Produce Polytypic Melanin, Rosanna P. Baker, Christine Chrissian, Ruth E. Stark, Arturo Casadevall

Publications and Research

Melanin is a major virulence factor in pathogenic fungi that enhances the ability of fungal cells to resist immune clearance. Cryptococcus neoformans is an important human pathogenic fungus that synthesizes melanin from exogenous tissue catecholamine precursors during infection, but the type of melanin made in cryptococcal meningoencephalitis is unknown. We analyzed the efficacy of various catecholamines found in brain tissue in supporting melanization using animal brain tissue and synthetic catecholamine mixtures reflecting brain tissue proportions. Solid-state NMR spectra of the melanin pigment produced from such mixtures yielded more melanin than expected if only the preferred constituent dopamine had been incorporated, …