Congo Red affects the growth, morphology and activity of glucosamine-6-phosphate synthase in the human pathogenic fungus Sporothrix schenckii
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Sporothrix schenckii is the etiological agent of sporotrichosis, a mycosis of humans and other mammals. Little is known about the responses of this thermodimorphic pathogen to perturbations in the cell wall (CW) by different stress conditions. Here we describe the effect of Congo Red (CR) on the fungal growth, morphogenesis and activity of glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN-6-P) synthase. Under conditions of yeast development, 15 µM CR abolished conidia (CN) germination, but when yeast cells were first obtained in the absence of the dye and then post-incubated in its presence, yeasts rapidly differentiated into mycelial cells. On the other hand, under conditions of mycelium development, 150 µM CR did not affect CN germination, but filamentous cells underwent structural changes characterized by a distorted CW contour, the loss of polarity and the formation of red-pigmented, hyphal globose structures. Under these conditions, CR also induced a significant and transient increase in the activity of GlcN-6-P synthase, an essential enzyme in CW biogenesis.
KeywordsSporothrix schenckii Congo Red Fungal responses
The authors thank Dr. Julio C. Villagómez-Castro for helpful discussion of results and Q.F.B. Lilia M. Almanza-Villegas for expert technical support. Sponsorship: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (Grant No. 2002-C01-39528/A-1) and Dirección de Apoyo a la Investigación y al Posgrado (DAIP), Universidad de Guanajuato, México.
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