Analysis of Pneumocystis carinii Cyst Wall. II. Sugar Composition

JAMIE A. De STEFANO, MELANIE T. CUSHION, V. PUVANESARAJAH, PETER D. WALZER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

ABSTRACT. Pneumocystis carinii cysts are capable of resisting host defenses and antimicrobial drugs and are therefore thought to be responsible for relapses of P. carinii pneumonia in AIDS and other immunocompromised patients. The interaction of P. carinii with its host, and other P. carinii, might be mediated by molecules which form the outer surfaces of this organism. Carbohydrates are known to play many roles in cell‐cell adhesion, and have been detected on the surface of P. carinii by lectin labeling experiments. In this study P. carinii cyst wall material was obtained from Zymolyase treatment. Alditol acetate derivatives of neutral and amino sugars or trimethylsilyl derivatives of methyl glycosides were prepared from the monosaccharides released from the sample by acid hydrolysis. Analyses were done by a combination of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Glucose was found to be the major sugar constituent. Mannose and galactose were present in equal ratios. A lesser amount of N‐acetyl‐D‐glucosamine, and trace amounts of ribose and sialic acid were present in the cyst wall samples analyzed. These sugars may mediate P. carinii‐host interaction and play an important protective role by creating a permeability barrier around the cyst.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-441
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Protozoology
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • AIDS
  • P. carinii pneumonia
  • Zymolyase
  • carbohydrates
  • immunosuppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology

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