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Carbohydr Res. 2003 Jul 4;338(14):1491-6.

Structural characterization of (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans isolated from blastospore and hyphal forms of Candida albicans.

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Global Polymers and Research Analytical Services, Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport, TN 37662-5150, USA.


Glucans are (1-->3)-beta-linked linear and branched polymers containing anhydroglucose repeat units. They comprise a major portion of the cell wall of saprophytic and pathogenic fungi. Glucans activate a wide range of innate immune responses. They are also released from the fungal cell wall as exopolymers into the blood of patients with fungal infections. Extensive studies have been done on glucans isolated from saprophytic fungi, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae; however, much less is known about the glucans produced by the polymorphic fungal pathogen Candida albicans. We have undertaken an extensive structural characterization and comparison of glucans isolated from C. albicans blastospores and hyphae using high-resolution, solution-state proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). In addition, we developed a simple and straightforward method for the production of Candida hyphae that resulted in gram quantities of hyphal mass. Also, we compared and contrasted the Candida glucans isolated by two different protocols with those isolated from S. cerevisiae. Isolation protocols provide high purity glucans with source-based structural differences. Structural details provided by this NMR analysis included the degree of polymerization, molecular weight, degree and type of branching, and structural composition. We observed that Candida glucans, derived from blastospores or hyphae, are different compared to those isolated from S. cerevisiae with regard to side-chain branching along the backbone and at the reducing terminus. These structural details are an important prerequisite for biomedical studies on the interaction of isolated fungal cell wall glucans with the innate immune system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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