Three stages can be distinguished in the temperature- induced mycelial-to-yeast phase transition of Hwtoplasma capsulatum. Stage one is characterized by a progressive decrease in the respiration rate and in the intracellular concentrations of cysteine and other amino acids. By stage two, respiration has ceased completely and free cysteine has fallen to low levels. Exogenous cysteine is required during the second stage for activation of mitochondrial respiration (stage three) and completion of the morphological transition. Mitochondria isolated from cells in the second stage show no respiration with NADH, succinate, or other substrates unless they are first incubated with cysteine. In addition, a novel, cytosolic cysteine oxidase appears during the latter part of the second stage. In stage three, the respiration rate rises, intracellular concentrations of free cysteine and other amino acids increase to levels characteristic of yeast, and the morphological transition is completed. The results support the idea that alterations in cys
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