A Recombinant β-1,3-Glucanosyltransferase Homolog of Coccidioides posadasii Protects Mice against Coccidioidomycosis




Delgado, Nelson
Xue, Jianmin
Yu, Jieh-Juen
Hung, Chiung-Yu
Cole, Garry T.

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American Society for Microbiology


Coccidioides posadasii is a fungal respiratory pathogen which is responsible for recurrent epidemics of San Joaquin Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) in desert regions of the southwestern United States. Numerous studies have revealed that the cell wall of the parasitic phase of the fungus is a reservoir of immunoreactive macromolecules and a potential source of a vaccine against this mycosis. A 495-bp fragment of a C. posadasii gene which encodes a putative wall-associated, glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored β-1,3-glucanosyltransferase was identified by computational analysis of the partially sequenced genome of this pathogen. The translated, full-length gene (GEL1) showed high sequence homology to a reported β-1,3-glucanosyltransferase of Aspergillus fumigatus (70% identity, 90% similarity) and was selected for further study. The GEL1 mRNA of C. posadasii was detected at the highest level during the endosporulation stage of the parasitic cycle, and the mature protein was immunolocalized to the surface of endospores. BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice were immunized subcutaneously with the bacterium-expressed recombinant protein (rGel1p) to evaluate its protective efficacy against a lethal challenge of C. posadasii by either the intraperitoneal or intranasal route. In both cases, rGel1p-immune mice infected with the pathogen showed a significant reduction in fungal burden and increased survival compared to nonimmune mice. The recombinant β-1,3-glucanosyltransferase is a valuable addition to an arsenal of immunoreactive proteins which could be incorporated into a human vaccine against coccidioidomycosis.



coccidioidomycosis, Coccidioides posadasii, Coccidioides


Delgado, N., Xue, J., Yu, J.-J., Hung, C.-Y., & Cole, G. T. (2003). A Recombinant Beta-1,3-Glucanosyltransferase Homolog of Coccidioides posadasii Protects Mice against Coccidioidomycosis. Infection and Immunity, 71(6), 3010-3019. doi:10.1128/iai.71.6.3010-3019.2003


Molecular Microbiology and Immunology