Characterization of a mitogen-activated protein kinase from Pneumocystis carinii

Charles F. Thomas, Theodore J. Kottom, Edward B. Leof, Andrew H. Limper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The pathogenic fungus Pneumocystis carinii causes severe pneumonia in patients with impaired immunity, particularly patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The life cycle of P. carinii is poorly understood, and the inability to continuously culture P. carinii is a major limitation in understanding its cell biology. In fungi homologous to P. carinii, pheromone mating factors signal through a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal transduction cascade, resulting in mitotic cell cycle arrest and entry into a pathway of conjugation, cellular differentiation, and proliferation. Using degenerate PCR and library screening, we have identified a MAPK cDNA in P. carinii that is highly homologous to fungal MAPKs involved in the pheromone mating signal transduction cascade, and we demonstrate MAPK activity in P. carinii lysates with a specific antiserum derived from the translated P. carinii MAPK cDNA sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L193-L199
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number1 19-1
StatePublished - Jul 1998


  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Molecular cloning
  • Serine-threonine protein kinase
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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