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Utilization of indole compounds by Cryptococcus neoformans to produce a melanin-like pigment.

Authors
  • K J Kwon-Chung
  • W K Tom
  • J L Costa
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1983
Source
PMC
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Several indoles served as substrates for the phenoloxidase of Cryptococcus neoformans and resulted in the production of a melanin-like pigment. In general, a higher percentage of C. neoformans var. neoformans (A and D serotypes) isolates could produce pigment from indoles than could those of var. gattii (B and C serotypes). Only compounds with a hydroxyl or an amino group on the phenyl ring produced pigment; methoxy, nitro, methyl, and fluorine substituents on the phenyl ring were inactive, as was a hydroxyl group at the 2 position on the indole ring. The phenoloxidase of C. neoformans thus appears to differ from that found in Mycobacterium leprae, which cannot use a hydroxyindole, desoxyfructo-5-hydroxytryptamine, as a substrate. In addition, C. neoformans differs from M. leprae in that desoxyfructo-5-hydroxytryptamine does not inhibit the uptake of dihydroxyphenylalanine into the cell.

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