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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1998 Jan;20(1):55-67.

Fucose-specific adhesins on germ tubes of Candida albicans.

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Division of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK.


Lectin-like adhesins of hyphal-form Candida albicans were investigated by conventional fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence microscopy with image analysis, spectrofluorimetry and flow cytometry. Labelling was done with neoglycoprotein probes consisting of sugars (fucose, mannose, glucose, galactose, lactose) covalently linked to bovine serum albumin (BSA), which itself was labelled with fluorescein. The fucose probe bound to both the yeast and germ-tube portions of hyphal-form cells, not especially at the tip, but in the adjacent region of the germ-tube portion. Probes with the other sugars did not label the hyphal-form cells. Fucose-probe binding to the cells was optimal at pH 5.0 in citrate buffer, and was a time-dependent reaction requiring 30-60 min and reaching saturation concentration at 100 microg ml(-1). Each hyphal-form cell of C. albicans grown in 199 medium was calculated to have about 2 x 10(7) fucose probe-binding sites. There appeared to be no requirement for Ca2+ or Mg2+ in binding. Binding of the fucose probe to the hyphal-form cells was higher at 37 degrees C than at 22 degrees C or 4 degrees C. Fluorescence intensity of the fucose-labelled yeast forms was not increased over the hyphal-form cells. A germ-tube-deficient mutant when exposed to hyphal-form growth conditions for 2 h showed much less binding of the fucose probe than the wild-type which produced germ tubes. Confirmation of specificity and the need for a carrier molecule was obtained by showing that Fuc-BSA (without fluorescein) effectively inhibited the binding of the fucose probe, although L-fucose itself was inactive, as was Gal-BSA.

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