Extracellular proteinase activity of Cryptococcus neoformans

Lin Chi Chen, Erika S. Blank, Arturo Casadevall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Extracellular proteinase activity was studied for eight strains of Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans and two strains of Cryptococcus neoformans var. gatti. Proteinase activity was measured by protein agar clearance, azoalbumin hydrolysis, gelatin liquefaction, and protein substrate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. All strains of C. neoformans produced extracellular proteolytic activity. Maximal extracellular proteinase activity in supernatants of C. neoformans cultures was associated with late logarithmic- and stationary-phase cultures. C. neoformans was able to utilize murine immunoglobulin G1, bovine immunoglobulin G, and human complement factor 5 for growth in media containing these proteins as the sole sources of carbon and nitrogen, suggesting a capacity to degrade immunologically important proteins. Protein substrate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed several bands with proteolytic activity at apparent molecular masses of 200, 100, and 50 kDa. The results confirm the existence of extracellular proteinase activity for C. neoformans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-574
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)


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