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. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Freitas-Mesquita, A. L., & Meyer-Fernandes, J. R. (2014, February 6). Biochemical properties and possible roles of ectophosphatase activities in fungi. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms15022289