Biochemistry Seminar: Arturo Casadevall
Wed, Sep 18
12:00 PM — 1:00 PM
Marshak160 Convent Ave
Arturo Casadevall, "On Difficult Microbial Structures: Melanin and Capsules"Arturo Casadevall, Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will be giving a talk titled, "On Difficult Microbial Structures: Melanin and Capsules."
ABSTRACT: Melanin and capsules are common microbial virulence factors. However, understanding the structures of melanin and capsules present formidable problems for these entities defy many analytical techniques available. Melanin is an amorphous compound composed of covalently linked phenolic compounds that is synthesized by a single enzyme that catalyzes the first step in the reaction pathway. Melanin plays protean roles in biology including protection against ultraviolet light, heat and cold, and free radicals. Melanin may also be involved in energy transduction. Capsules are highly hydrated structures that are easily disrupted by electron microscopy. Capsules function in virulence by being anti-phagocytic and modulating immune responses. This lecture will present studies into the structure of melanin and capsular polysaccharide from the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.