Mannosylation in Candida Albicans: Role in Cell Wall Function and Immune Recognition

Mol Microbiol. 2013 Dec;90(6):1147-61. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12426. Epub 2013 Nov 8.


The fungal cell wall is a dynamic organelle required for cell shape, protection against the environment and, in pathogenic species, recognition by the innate immune system. The outer layer of the cell wall is comprised of glycosylated mannoproteins with the majority of these post-translational modifications being the addition of O- and N-linked mannosides. These polysaccharides are exposed on the outer surface of the fungal cell wall and are, therefore, the first point of contact between the fungus and the host immune system. This review focuses on O- and N-linked mannan biosynthesis in the fungal pathogen Candida albicans and highlights new insights gained from the characterization of mannosylation mutants into the role of these cell wall components in host-fungus interactions. In addition, we discuss the use of fungal mannan as a diagnostic marker of fungal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Candida albicans / immunology
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity
  • Candida albicans / physiology*
  • Candidiasis / diagnosis
  • Candidiasis / immunology
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Cell Wall / immunology
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / physiology*
  • Fungal Proteins / immunology
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Mannans / biosynthesis*
  • Mannans / immunology*
  • Mannosides / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Virulence Factors


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Mannans
  • Mannosides
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Virulence Factors
  • mannoproteins