The capsular dynamics of Cryptococcus neoformans

Trends Microbiol. 2006 Nov;14(11):497-505. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2006.09.003. Epub 2006 Sep 25.


Cryptococcus neoformans is a soil-dwelling fungus that causes life-threatening illness in immunocompromised individuals and latently infects many healthy individuals. C. neoformans, unlike other human pathogenic fungi, is surrounded by a polysaccharide capsule that is essential for survival and enables C. neoformans to thwart the mammalian immune system. The capsule is a dynamic structure that undergoes changes in size and rearranges during budding. Here, the latest information and unresolved questions regarding capsule synthesis, structure, assembly, growth and rearrangements are discussed along with the concept that self-assembly is important in capsular dynamics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Wall / chemistry
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / growth & development*
  • Cryptococcus neoformans / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Polysaccharides / biosynthesis*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / physiology


  • Polysaccharides