Candida albicans maintains both commensal and pathogenic states in humans. Both states are dependent on cell surface-expressed adhesins, including those of the Als family. Heterologous expression of Als5p at the surface of Saccharomyces cerevisiae results in Als5p-mediated adhesion to various ligands, followed by formation of multicellular aggregates. Following adhesion of one region of the cell to fibronectin-coated beads, the entire surface of the cells became competent to mediate cell-cell aggregation. Aggregates formed in the presence of metabolic inhibitors or signal transduction inhibitors but were reduced in the presence of 8-anilino-1-naphthalene-sulfonic acid (ANS) or Congo Red (CR), perturbants that inhibit protein structural transitions. These perturbants also inhibited aggregation of C. albicans. An increase in ANS fluorescence, which accompanied Als-dependent cellular adhesion, indicated an increase in cell surface hydrophobicity. In addition, C. albicans and Als5p-expressing S. cerevisiae showed an aggregation-induced birefringence indicative of order on the cell surface. The increase in birefringence did not occur in the presence of the aggregation disruptants ANS and CR. These results suggest a model for Als5p-mediated aggregation in which an adhesion-triggered change in the conformation of Als5p propagates around the cell surface, forming ordered aggregation-competent regions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases