Melanization of Cryptococcus neoformans in murine infection

Joshua D. Nosanchuk, Philippe Valadon, Marta Feldmesser, Arturo Casadevall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungus that is pathogenic in humans and that can produce melanin in vitro. Melanization is associated with virulence, but there is no evidence that melanin is made during infection. Melanins are difficult to study because they are amorphous and insoluble. Melanin-binding peptides from a phage display library were used to demonstrate that C. neoformans makes melanin-like compounds in tissue. Melanin-binding peptides were characterized by a high proportion of positively charged and aromatic residues. Two other methods, demonstration of an antibody response to melanin in mice infected with C. neoformans and analysis of yeast cell walls in infected tissue by light microscopy, were used to support these findings. The demonstration that C. neoformans melanizes in tissue has important implications for pathogenesis and drug discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-750
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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