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Microb Pathog. 2001 Oct;31(4):159-72.

Involvement of alpha(v)beta3 integrin-like receptor and glycosaminoglycans in Candida albicans germ tube adhesion to vitronectin and to a human endothelial cell line.

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Department of Pharmacological Sciences and Experimental Medicine, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy.


The present study was undertaken to investigate the expression of alpha(v)beta3 and alpha(v)beta5 integrin-like vitronectin receptors (VNRs) on Candida albicans germ tube and their involvement in its adhesion to vitronectin (VN) and human endothelial cells. By immunofluorescence and FACS analysis, several monoclonal antibodies directed against human alpha(v) or beta3 integrin subunit or alpha(v)beta3 and alpha(v)beta5 heterodimers, positively stained C. albicans germ tubes. C. albicans germ tubes specifically adhered (45-50%) to VN and this adhesion was markedly inhibited by RGD-, but not RGE-containing peptides. Adhesion of C. albicans germ tubes to VN was strongly inhibited by anti-alphav, anti-beta3 or anti-alpha(v)beta3, but not by alpha(v)beta5 monoclonal antibody. C. albicans germ tube adhesion to VN was also inhibited by glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) such as heparin or chondroitin sulphate. Finally, we show that C. albicans germ tubes adhere to the human EA.hy 926 endothelial cell line. This adhesion is markedly blocked by anti-beta3 monoclonal antibody, GRGDSP peptide or heparin, and is completely abolished by their combination. Overall these results indicate that C. albicans germ tube adherence to VN and to a human endothelial cell line is mediated by alpha(v)beta3, but not by alpha(v)beta5-like integrin, and depends on GAGs which may act by regulating alpha(v)beta3 integrin-like/VN adhesive interaction.

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