Pteroylpolyglutamate synthesis by lung- and culture-derived Pneumocystis carinii

Yu long Hong, Marilyn S. Bartlett, Sherry Queener, James W. Smith, Margaret Shaw, Steven R. Meshnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pneumocystis carinii synthesizes folates de novo from exogenous p-aminobenzoic acid (pABA). Lung-derived organisms take up [3H]pABA in vitro except in the presence of sulfamethoxazole. Supernatants from spinner-flask cultures take up [3H]pABA if they were inoculated with lungs from infected rats, but not if they were inoculated with lungs from uninfected rats. P. carinii folates consist primarily of pteroylpentaglutamates. Plasmodium falciparum, in contrast, contains primarily pteroyltetraglutamates. Culture-derived organisms synthesize folates at a four-fold higher specific activity than lung-derived organisms, possibly because they contain less contaminating lung debris. These data suggest that P. carinii remains metabolically active in culture for at least 4 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-254
Number of pages4
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 15 1995


  • Folate
  • Folylpolyglutamate
  • Opportunistic infection
  • Pneumocystis carinii
  • Sulfamethoxazole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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