1,100 Words


Hot Bodies

To thrive in the high-temperature environment of a human host, the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans depends largely on the Ras1 protein. Connie Nichols, a research scientist in the Andrew Alspaugh lab in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology fused fluorescent proteins from jellyfish to Ras1 (red) and to a protein that helps it survive on the cell membrane called Pfa4 (green). Yellow spots indicate the two proteins are joined. Nichols says without Pfa4’s help, Ras1 wouldn’t do as well in the human host’s body heat. CITATION: “Impact of protein palmitoylation of the virulence potential o f Cryptococcus neoformans,” Nichols, C. et al. Eukaryotic Cell, July 2015. doi:10.1128/EC.00010-15