Cara L Griffith

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Yeast cell walls are critical for maintaining cell integrity, particularly in the face of challenges such as growth in mammalian hosts. The pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans additionally anchors its polysaccharide capsule to the cell surface via alpha(1-3) glucan in the wall. Cryptococcal cells disrupted in their alpha glucan synthase gene were(More)
UDP-xylose is a sugar donor required for the synthesis of diverse and important glycan structures in animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria. Xylose-containing glycans are particularly abundant in plants and in the polysaccharide capsule that is the major virulence factor of the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. Biosynthesis of UDP-xylose is mediated(More)
Galactofuranose (Gal(f)) is a novel sugar absent in mammals but present in a variety of pathogenic microbes, often within glycoconjugates that play critical roles in cell surface formation and the infectious cycle. In prokaryotes, Gal(f) is synthesized as the nucleotide sugar UDP-Gal(f) by UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM) (gene GLF). Here we used a(More)
Cryptococcus neoformans is a pathogenic fungus surrounded by an elaborate polysaccharide capsule that is strictly required for its virulence in humans and other mammals. Nearly half of the sugar residues in the capsule are derived from UDP-glucuronic acid or its metabolites. To examine the role of these nucleotide sugars in C. neoformans, the gene encoding(More)
UDP-glucose dehydrogenase catalyses the conversion of UDP-glucose into UDP-GlcA, a critical precursor for glycan synthesis across evolution. We have cloned the gene encoding this important enzyme from the opportunistic pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. In this fungus, UDP-GlcA is required for the synthesis of capsule polysaccharides, which in turn are(More)
Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that is responsible for life-threatening disease, particularly in the context of compromised immunity. This organism makes extensive use of mannose in constructing its cell wall, glycoproteins, and glycolipids. Mannose also comprises up to two-thirds of the main cryptococcal virulence factor, a polysaccharide(More)
Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic yeast responsible for lethal meningoencephalitis in humans. This pathogen elaborates a polysaccharide capsule, which is its major virulence factor. Mannose constitutes over one-half of the capsule mass and is also extensively utilized in cell wall synthesis and in glycosylation of proteins and lipids. The(More)
Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen responsible for serious meningitis. Although many useful molecular tools have been developed for its study, there are currently few inducible promoters available for general use. To address this need, we have constructed expression plasmids incorporating upstream elements of the C. neoformans(More)
ATHB17 (AT2G01430) is an Arabidopsis gene encoding a member of the α-subclass of the homeodomain leucine zipper class II (HD-Zip II) family of transcription factors. The ATHB17 monomer contains four domains common to all class II HD-Zip proteins: a putative repression domain adjacent to a homeodomain, leucine zipper, and carboxy terminal domain. However, it(More)
DNA-nuclear matrix (NM) anchoring plays a critical role in the organization of DNA within the nucleus and in functional access to DNA for transcription, replication, and DNA repair. The cellular response to oxidative stress involves both gene expression and DNA repair. We, therefore, determined if changes in the oxidative-reductive environment can affect(More)