Inhibition of chitin synthesis in the cell wall of Coccidioides immitis by polyoxin D

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The cell walls of both growth phases of Coccidioides immitis were studied by light and electron microscopy and biochemical procedures in an effort to assess the role of chitin in the fungus. Inhibition of normal chitin synthesis in the spherule by exposure to several concentrations of polyoxin D (PD) led to multiple morphological effects. Exposure of the mycelial phase to significantly higher levels of the compound had no morphological effect, as determined by autoradiography and light and electron microscopy. However, when equal masses of both morphological phases were treated with PD and pulsed with labeled N-acetylglucosamine, there was a greater relative (percent) reduction of incorporation of label in PD-treated mycelia compared with that of spherules. Nevertheless, the treated and untreated mycelia incorporated severalfold more counts than did corresponding spherules. The results suggest that chitin is important in maintaining the structural integrity of the spherule phase, but the role of chitin in the mycelial phase is less clear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-498
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Immunology


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