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Proteomic Profile of Cryptococcus neoformans Biofilm Reveals Changes in Metabolic Processes

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posted on 17.12.2015 by Lucélia Santi, Walter O. Beys-da-Silva, Markus Berger, Diego Calzolari, Jorge A. Guimarães, James J. Moresco, John R. Yates
Cryptococcus neoformans, a pathogenic yeast, causes meningoencephalitis, especially in immunocompromised patients, leading in some cases to death. Microbes in biofilms can cause persistent infections, which are harder to treat. Cryptococcal biofilms are becoming common due to the growing use of brain valves and other medical devices. Using shotgun proteomics we determine the differences in protein abundance between biofilm and planktonic cells. Applying bioinformatic tools, we also evaluated the metabolic pathways involved in biofilm maintenance and protein interactions. Our proteomic data suggest general changes in metabolism, protein turnover, and global stress responses. Biofilm cells show an increase in proteins related to oxidation–reduction, proteolysis, and response to stress and a reduction in proteins related to metabolic process, transport, and translation. An increase in pyruvate-utilizing enzymes was detected, suggesting a shift from the TCA cycle to fermentation-derived energy acquisition. Additionally, we assign putative roles to 33 proteins previously categorized as hypothetical. Many changes in metabolic enzymes were identified in studies of bacterial biofilm, potentially revealing a conserved strategy in biofilm lifestyle.

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