Isolation of antigens with proteolytic activity from Coccidioides immitis

G. T. Cole, S. Zhu, S. Pan, L. Yuan, D. Kruse, S. H. Sun

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18 Scopus citations


Three antigens with proteolytic activity have been isolated from crude, water-soluble fractions of the saprobic phase of the fungal pathogen Coccidioides immitis. Two proteinases, identified in our immunoelectrophoresis reference system as Ag11 and AgCS, were isolated from the soluble conidial wall fraction (SCWF). Ag11 was previously shown to be a serine proteinase and was characterized in this study as a 60-kilodalton (kDa) fraction by gel filtration (GF). The purified proteinase demonstrated little or no reactivity with 21 serum samples from coccidioidomycosis patients in the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; this may be due to limited presentation of this antigen to the host during the course of coccidioidomycosis. AgCS was separated by GF chromatography into two fractions identified by molecular masses of 39 and 19 kDa. Most proteolytic activity was shown by substrate gel electrophoresis to be associated with the lower-molecular-mass fraction. AgCS was reactive with 18 of the 21 serum samples and shown to be the major component of a heat-stable antigen previously reported to be immunospecific for C. immitis. The third antigen with proteolytic activity was isolated from the 5-day mycelial culture filtrate and identified by GF as a 56-kDa fraction. Uniformly high levels of immunoreactivity between 18 of the 21 patient sera and the 56-kDa antigen were demonstrated. Antigens with proteolytic activity may play important roles in fungus-host interactions as well as morphogenesis of the pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1524-1534
Number of pages11
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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