Pneumocystis carinii major surface glycoprotein dampens macrophage inflammatory responses to fungal β-glucan

Theodore J. Kottom, Deanne M. Hebrink, Eva M. Carmona, Andrew H. Limper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Pneumocystis major surface glycoprotein (Msg) is a 120-kD surface protein complex on the organism with importance in adhesion and immune recognition. In this study, we show that Msg significantly impairs tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α secretion by macrophages induced by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pneumocystis carinii (Pc) β-glucans. Methods. Major surface glycoprotein was shown to greatly reduce β-glucan-induced Dectin-1 immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activating motif (ITAM) phosphorylation. Major surface glycoprotein also down regulated Dectin-1 receptor messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression in the macrophages. It is interesting that Msg incubation with macrophages resulted in significant mRNA upregulation of both C-type lectin receptors (CLR) Mincle and MCL in Msg protein presence alone but to even greater amounts in the presence of Pc β-glucan. Results. The silencing of MCL and Mincle resulted in TNF-α secretions similar to that of macrophages treated with Pneumocystis β-glucan alone, which is suggestive of an inhibitory role for these 2 CLRs in Msg-suppressive effects on host cell immune response. Conclusions. Taken together, these data indicate that the Pneumocystis Msg surface protein complex can act to suppress host macrophage inflammatory responses to the proinflammatory β -glucan components of the organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1221
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • MCL
  • Major surface glycoprotein
  • Mincle
  • Msg
  • Pneumocystis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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