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

Cell wall studies of Histoplasma capsulatum and Blastomyces dermatitidis using autologous and heterologous enzymes.

Enzymes capable of hydrolyzing cell walls of Blastomyces dermatitidis and chemotypes I and II of Histoplasma capsulatum were prepared in the laboratory or obtained from commercial sources. They included chitinases, beta-1,3-glucanases, beta-1,6-glucanase, and Pronase. Monosaccharides and disaccharides of glucose released from the cell walls by the enzymes were determined qualitatively by paper and gas-liquid chromatography, and monosaccharides were quantitated by the latter technique as well. An enzyme system isolated from Streptomyces sp. containing both chitinase and glucanase released maximum amounts of glucose and N-acetylglucosamine from the cell walls of H. capsulatum chemotype I. A chitinase preparation, free of glucanase, from Serratia marcescens released only chitobiose and N-acetylglucosamine from chemotype I cell walls, but the total quantity of N-acetylglucosamine released was about 60% less than that released by the Streptomyces system. A beta-1,3-glucanase from Bacillus circulans hydrolyzed the cell walls of H. capsulatum chemotype I, but a beta-1,6-glucanase failed to release glucose from the same walls. Autolytic enzymes, viz., beta-1,3-glucanases and several glycosidases were detected as constitutive enzymes in both yeast and mycelial phases of B. dermatitidis and H. capsulatum chemotypes I and II. No difference in the amount of activity was found between cell sap and culture filtrate preparations. The beta-glucanases prepared from the Histoplasma and Blastomyces strains were active on the cell walls of the yeast phases of H. capsulatum chemotypes I and II, releasing laminaribiose and glucose, but were essentially inactive on the cell walls of B. dermatitidis. Chitinase, beta-1,6-glucanase, alpha-glucanase, and alpha-glucosidase activities were absent from these fungal enzyme preparations.[1]


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