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Keywords:

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

Abstract

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. © 2013 The Authors. Yeast published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.