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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-0983
    Keywords: Key wordsCandida albicans ; Gene family ; Hyphal-specific ; Differential gene regulation
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The ALS1 (agglutinin-like sequence) gene of Candida albicans encodes a protein similar to alpha-agglutinin, a cell-surface adhesion glycoprotein of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Hoyer et al. 1995). A central domain of a tandemly repeated 108-bp sequence is found in the ALS1 coding region. This tandem-repeat motif hybridizes to multiple C. albicans genomic DNA fragments, indicating the possibility of other ALS1-like genes in C. albicans (Hoyer et al. 1995). To determine if these fragments constitute a gene family, tandem-repeat-hybridizing genomic fragments were isolated from a fosmid library by PCR screening using primers based on the consensus tandem-repeat sequence of ALS1 (Hoyer et al. 1995). One group of fosmids, designated ALS3, encodes a gene with 81% identity to ALS1. The sequences of ALS1 and ALS3 are most conserved in the tandem-repeat domain and in the region 5′ of the tandem repeats. Northern-blot analysis using unique probes from the 3′ end of each gene demonstrated that ALS1 expression varies, depending on which C. albicans strain is examined, and that ALS3 is hyphal-specific. Both genes are found in a variety of C. albicans and C. stellatoidea strains examined. The predicted Als1p and Als3p exhibit features suggesting that both are cell-surface glycoproteins. Southern blots probed with conserved sequences from the region 5′ of the tandem repeats suggest that other ALS-like sequences are present in the C. albicans genome and that the ALS family may be larger than originally estimated.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1365-2958
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Transfer of budding Candida albicans yeast cells from the rich, complex medium YEPD to the defined tissue culture medium RPMl 1640 (RPMI) at 37°C and 5% CO2 causes rapid onset of hyphal induction. Among the genes induced under these conditions are hyphal-specific genes as well as genes expressed in response to changes in temperature, CO2 and specific media components. A cDNA library constructed from cells incubated for 20 min in RPMI was differentially screened with yeast (YEPD)- and hyphal (RPMI)-specific probes resuming in identification of a gene expressed in response to culture conditions but not regulated by the yeast-hyphal transition. The deduced gene product displays significant identity to Saccharomyces cerevisiaeα-agglutinin, encoded by AGα1, an adhesion glycoprotein that mediates mating of haploid cells. The presence of this gene in C albicans is curious since the organism has not been observed to undergo meiosis. We designate the C. albicans gene ALS1 (for agglutinin-like sequence). While the N- and C-termini of the predicted 1260-amino-acid ALS1 protein resemble those of the 650-amino-acid AGα1, ALS1 contains a central domain of tandem repeats consisting of a highly conserved 36-amino-acid sequence not present in AGb1. These repeats are also present on the nucleotide level as a highly conserved 108bp motif. Southern and Northern blot analyses indicate a family of C. albicans genes that contain the tandem repeat motif; at least one gene in addition to ALS1 is expressed under conditions similar to those for ALS1 expression. Genomic Southern blots from several C. albicans isolates indicate that the number of copies of the tandem repeat element in ALS1 differs across strains and. In some cases, between ALS1 alleles in the same strain, suggesting a strain-dependent variability in ALS1 protein size. Potential roles for the ALS1 protein are discussed.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1365-2958
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: In Candida albicans wild-type cells, the β1,6-glucanase-extractable glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-dependent cell wall proteins (CWPs) account for about 88% of all covalently linked CWPs. Approximately 90% of these GPI-CWPs, including Als1p and Als3p, are attached via β1,6-glucan to β1,3-glucan. The remaining GPI-CWPs are linked through β1,6-glucan to chitin. The β1,6-glucanase-resistant protein fraction is small and consists of Pir-related CWPs, which are attached to β1,3-glucan through an alkali-labile linkage. Immunogold labelling and Western analysis, using an antiserum directed against Saccharomyces cerevisiae Pir2p/Hsp150, point to the localization of at least two differentially expressed Pir2 homologues in the cell wall of C. albicans. In mnn9Δ and pmt1Δ mutant strains, which are defective in N- and O-glycosylation of proteins respectively, we observed enhanced chitin levels together with an increased coupling of GPI-CWPs through β1,6-glucan to chitin. In these cells, the level of Pir-CWPs was slightly upregulated. A slightly increased incorporation of Pir proteins was also observed in a β1,6-glucan-deficient hemizygous kre6Δ mutant. Taken together, these observations show that C. albicans follows the same basic rules as S. cerevisiae in constructing a cell wall and indicate that a cell wall salvage mechanism is activated when Candida cells are confronted with cell wall weakening.
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2011-09-21
    Description: Candida albicans is the most prevalent fungal pathogen in humans and a major source of life-threatening nosocomial infections. The Als (agglutinin-like sequence) glycoproteins are an important virulence factor for this fungus and have been associated with binding of host-cell surface proteins and small peptides of random sequence, the formation of biofilms and amyloid fibers. High-resolution structures of N-terminal Als adhesins (NT-Als; up to 314 amino acids) show that ligand recognition relies on a motif capable of binding flexible C termini of peptides in extended conformation. Central to this mechanism is an invariant lysine that recognizes the C-terminal carboxylate of ligands at the end of a deep-binding cavity. In addition to several protein–peptide interactions, a network of water molecules runs parallel to one side of the ligand and contributes to the recognition of diverse peptide sequences. These data establish NT-Als adhesins as a separate family of peptide-binding proteins and an unexpected adhesion system for primary, widespread protein–protein interactions at the Candida/host-cell interface.
    Print ISSN: 0027-8424
    Electronic ISSN: 1091-6490
    Topics: Biology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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