The encapsulated fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans causes cryptococcosis in immunocompromised individuals. Although cell surface mannoproteins have been implicated in C. neoformans pathogenicity, the structure of N-linked glycans assembled on mannoproteins has not yet been elucidated. By analyzing oligosaccharide profiles combined with exoglycosidase treatment, we report here that C. neoformans has serotypespecific high mannose-type N-glycans with or without a β1,2-xylose residue, which is attached to the trimannosyl core of N-glycans. Interestingly, the neutral N-glycans of serotypes A and D were shown to contain a xylose residue, whereas those of serotype B appeared to be much shorter and devoid of a xylose residue. Moreover, analysis of the C. neoformans uxs1Δ mutant demonstrated that UDP-xylose is utilized as a donor sugar in N-glycan biosynthesis. We also constructed and analyzed a set of C. neoformans mutant strains lacking genes putatively assigned to the reconstructed N-glycan biosynthesis pathway. It was shown that the outer chain of N-glycan is initiated by CnOch1p with addition of an α1,6-mannose residue and then subsequently extended by CnMnn2p with multiple additions of α1,2-mannose residues. Finally, comparative analysis of acidic N-glycans from wild-type, Cnoch1Δ, Cnmnn2Δ, and Cnuxs1Δstrains strongly indicated the presence of xylose phosphate attached to mannose residues in the core and outer region of N-glycans. Our data present the first report on the unique structure and biosynthesis pathway of N-glycans in C. neoformans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology