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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cystine catabolism in mycelia of Microsporum gypseum, a dermatophytic fungus.

The fate of 35S label was studied during cystine degradation by mycelia of the dermatophytic fungus Microsporum gypseum. Excess free cystine in the medium was readily taken up and its sulfur moiety excreted as inorganic sulfate and sulfite. At intervals after 3-60 min of incubation with 35S cystine the products of cystine catabolism were extracted from the mycelia by boiling water and separated by thin layer chromatography and electrophoresis. A total of 10 sulfur-containing compounds were identified, and their relative radioactivity was assessed. After 3 min the mycelia contained, in addition to cystine, labeled cysteine and particularly cysteine sulfinic acid which was accompanied by a smaller amount of cysteic acid. Later on, oxidized and reduced glutathione, inorganic sulfate and taurine appeared consecutively. In all extracts, small amounts of labeled S-sulfocysteine were found, not, however, sulfite. The results suggest that the intermediates of cysteine degradation in the fungal mycelia are cysteine, cysteine sulfinate, unstable sulfinylpyruvate, sulfite and sulfate, i.e., that the catabolic pattern is similar to that of higher organisms. The formation and the role of S-sulfocysteine, cysteic acid, and of taurine is not yet completely understood, although certainly autoxidative processes are involved in the formation of the latter two compounds, and sulfitolysis in that of the former compound.[1]


  1. Cystine catabolism in mycelia of Microsporum gypseum, a dermatophytic fungus. Kunert, J., Trüper, H.G. Arch. Microbiol. (1986) [Pubmed]
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