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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(2), 2289-2304; doi:10.3390/ijms15022289
Review

Biochemical Properties and Possible Roles of Ectophosphatase Activities in Fungi

1,2,*  and 1,2,*
1 Institute of Medical Biochemistry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), CCS, Bloco H, University City, Fundão Island, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21941-590, Brazil 2 Institute of National Science and Technology of Structural Biology and Bioimage (INCTBEB), CCS, Bloco H, University City, Fundão Island, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21941-590, Brazil
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 14 January 2014 / Published: 6 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinorganic Chemistry)
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Abstract

Ectophosphatases are surface membrane-bound proteins whose active sites face the extracellular medium. These enzymes have been reported in several microorganisms including a large number of medically relevant fungal species. An effective technique for identifying ectophosphatases is performing phosphatase activity assays using living intact cells. Biochemical characterization of these activities has shown their differential modulation by classical phosphatase inhibitors, divalent metals and pH range. The physiological roles of ectophosphatases are not well established; however, it has been suggested that these enzymes play important roles in nutrition, proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, virulence and infection. Adhesion to host cells is the first step in establishing a fungal infection and ectophosphatases may be one of the first parasite proteins that come into contact with the host cells. Several results indicate that ectophosphatase activities increase the capacity of fungi to adhere to the host cells. In this context, the present review provides an overview of recent discoveries related to the occurrence and possible roles of ectophosphatase activities in fungal cells.
Keywords: ectophosphatase; host-pathogen interaction; fungal adhesion; fungal infection ectophosphatase; host-pathogen interaction; fungal adhesion; fungal infection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Freitas-Mesquita, A.L.; Meyer-Fernandes, J.R. Biochemical Properties and Possible Roles of Ectophosphatase Activities in Fungi. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 2289-2304.

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