Protein Profiling of the Dimorphic Pathogenic Fungus, Sporothrix Schenckii

Mycopathologia. 2012 Jan;173(1):1-11. doi: 10.1007/s11046-011-9456-0. Epub 2011 Aug 13.


Sporotrichosis is a common cutaneous mycosis caused by the dimorphic fungus Sporothrix schenckii, which exhibits a temperature-dependent dimorphic switch. At 25°C, it grows in a mycelial phase, while at 37°C, it forms unicellular yeast cells. The formation of yeast cells was thought to be a requisite for the pathogenicity of S. schenckii. To identify fragments that might be related to morphogenesis, whole-cell proteins from the mold and early yeast stages of S. schenckii were analyzed using 2DE. Among thousands of protein molecules displayed, more than 300 showed a differential expression between the two phases. In particular, 24 yeast-specific proteins were identified using MALDI-TOF/MS. One of the most interesting proteins was a hybrid histidine kinase, DRK1, a global regulator of dimorphism and virulence in Blastomyces dermatitidis and Histoplasma capsulatum that was abundant in the yeast phase. Our study introduced a new approach to study dimorphism in S. schenckii, and the data may help us better understand the molecular mechanisms of phase transition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Fungal Proteins / analysis*
  • Histidine Kinase
  • Protein Kinases / analysis
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Sporothrix / chemistry*
  • Sporothrix / cytology


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Proteome
  • Protein Kinases
  • Histidine Kinase