Commensal and pathogenic states of Candida albicans depend on cell surface-expressed adhesins, including those of the Als family. Mature Als proteins consist of a 300-residue N-terminal region predicted to have an immunoglobulin (Ig)-like fold, a 104-residue conserved Thr-rich region (T), a central domain of a variable number of tandem repeats (TR) of a 36-residue Thr-rich sequence, and a heavily glycosylated C-terminal Ser/Thr-rich stalk region, also of variable length (N. K. Gaur and S. A. Klotz, Infect. Immun. 65: 5289-5294, 1997). Domain deletions in ALS5 were expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to excrete soluble protein and for surface display. Far UV circular dichroism indicated that soluble Ig-T showed a single negative peak at 212 nm, consistent with previous data indicating that this region has high β-sheet content with very little α-helix. A truncation of Als5p with six tandem repeats (Ig-T-TR6) gave spectra with additional negative ellipticity at 200 nm and, at 227 to 240 nm, spectra characteristic of a structure with a similar fraction of β-sheet but with additional structural elements as well. Soluble Als5p Ig-T and Ig-T-TR6 fragments bound to fibronectin in vitro, but the inclusion of the TR region substantially increased affinity. Cellular adhesion assays with S. cerevisiae showed that the Ig-T domain mediated adherence to fibronectin and that TR repeats greatly increased cell-to-cell aggregation. Thus, the TR region of Als5p modulated the structure of the Ig-T region, augmented cell adhesion activity through increased binding to mammalian ligands, and simultaneously promoted fungal cell-cell interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology