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Chitin synthesis was studied in both yeast and hyphae of the dimorphic fungus Candida albicans. Incorporation of N-acetyl-d-[1-3H]glucosamine ([3H]GluNAc) into an acid-alkali-insoluble fraction was 10 times greater in hyphal-phase cells. A crude preparation of chitin synthetase was obtained from sonically treated protoplasts of both forms of Candida. Enzyme activity, which was determined by using [14C]UDP-GLuNAc as a substrate, was exclusively associated with the 80,000 × g pellet from sonically treated protoplasts of both forms. It was determined that enzyme activity (nanomoles of [14C]UDP-GluNAc incorporated per milligram of protein) was approximately 2 times greater in hyphae versus yeast cells. Enzyme activity in both yeast and hyphae increased six- to sevenfold when the enzyme preparations were preincubated with trypsin. A vacuolar fraction, obtained from yeast cells but not from hyphae, stimulated enzyme activity when incubated with either yeast or hyphal enzyme preparations. Membrane fractions from protoplasts coated with [3H]concanavalin A before disruption were isolated by Renografin density gradient centrifugation. Chitin synthetase activity was preferentially associated with the concanavalin A-labeled fraction, suggesting that the enzyme was located on the plasma membrane. In addition, enzyme activity in protoplasts treated with cold glutaraldehyde before disruption was significantly greater than in protoplasts that were sonically disrupted and then treated with cold glutaraldehyde, indicating that the enzyme resides on the inner side of the plasma membrane.


Copyright © 1978 American Society for Microbiology

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Publication Title

Journal of Bacteriology

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Braun, Phyllis Cellini, and R. A. Calderone. "Chitin synthesis in Candida albicans: comparison of yeast and hyphal forms." Journal of Bacteriology 133, no. 3 (1978): 1472-1477.

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