Melanization decreases the susceptibility of Cryptococcus neoformans to enzymatic degradation

Ángel L. Rosas, Arturo Casadevall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cryptococcus neoformans is a free-living fungus that is primarily found in soils contaminated with avian excreta. Recent studies have shown that C. neoformans can synthesize melanins or melanin-like compounds in avian excreta. Melanization has been associated with protection of C. neoformans against harsh environmental conditions, such as ultraviolet radiation and extremes of temperature. In this study we examined whether melanization can protect C. neoformans against enzymatic degradation. Our results demonstrated that in vitro melanization decreases the susceptibility of C. neoformans to hydrolytic enzymes. This suggests a role for melanin in protection of C. neoformans against enzymatic degradation by antagonistic microbes in the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-56
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryptococcus neoformans
  • Enzymatic degradation
  • Melanin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)


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