Author(s): Schelenz S, Malhotra R, Sim RB, Holmskov U, Bancroft GJ
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Abstract Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic pathogen in AIDS patients causing disseminated disease and lethal meningitis after inhalation of acapsular or sparsely encapsulated yeast cells. In this study we have investigated whether a recently described family of primitive opsonins, termed collectins, contribute to innate resistance against C. neoformans. The pulmonary surfactant proteins SP-A and SP-D as well as the serum collectins mannose-binding protein and CL-43 bound in a calcium-dependent manner to acapsular C. neoformans in vitro. Binding was concentration dependent and abolished by competition with defined mono- and oligosaccharides. In contrast, no binding of the collectins was observed with the encapsulated form of the yeast. Furthermore, binding of purified collectin SP-D, but not SP-A, mannose-binding protein, or CL-43, led to a concentration-dependent agglutination of acapsular C. neoformans. These data indicate that collectins recognize carbohydrate structures in the cell wall of an initial infectious form of C. neoformans and may play a role in early antifungal defenses in the lung.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology