1887

Abstract

Dermatophytes are human and animal pathogenic fungi which cause cutaneous infections and grow exclusively in the stratum corneum, nails and hair. In a culture medium containing soy proteins as sole nitrogen source a substantial proteolytic activity was secreted by , and . This proteolytic activity was 55–75 % inhibited by -phenanthroline, attesting that metalloproteases were secreted by all three species. Using a consensus probe constructed on previously characterized genes encoding metalloproteases () of the M36 fungalysin family in , and , a five-member family was isolated from genomic libraries of , and . A phylogenetic analysis of genomic and protein sequences revealed a robust tree consisting of five main clades, each of them including a sequence type from each dermatophyte species. Each type was remarkably conserved across species (72–97 % amino acid sequence identity). The tree topology clearly indicated that the multiplication of genes in dermatophytes occurred prior to species divergence. In culture medium containing soy proteins as a sole nitrogen source secreted Meps accounted for 19–36 % of total secreted protein extracts; characterization of protein bands by proteolysis and mass spectrometry revealed that the three dermatophyte species secreted two Meps (Mep3 and Mep4) encoded by orthologous genes.

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2004-02-01
2020-08-10
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