Study of supramolecular structures released from the cell wall of Candida albicans by ethylenediamine treatment

Arch Microbiol. 1996 Nov;166(5):327-35. doi: 10.1007/s002030050391.


Candida albicans cell wall components were analyzed by ethylenediamine (EDA) treatment. Based on their different solubility properties, the cell wall components produced three fractions (A, B, and C). Fractions B (EDA-soluble, water-insoluble) and C (EDA-insoluble) contained glucan, chitin, and protein in different proportions. After zymolyase (mainly a beta-glucanase complex) or chitinase treatment of fractions B and C, more polysaccharides and proteins were solubilized by a second EDA treatment, suggesting that the solubility of the polymers in EDA depends on the degree of polymer interactions. Western blot analysis using two monoclonal antibodies (1B12 and 4C12) revealed electrophoretic patterns that were similar in mycelial and yeast morphologies, except that in material obtained from mycelial walls, an additional band was detected with MAb 1B12. Fluorescence microscopy of cell wall fractions treated with FITC-labeled Con-A, Calcofluor white, and FITC-labeled agglutinin showed that glucan and mannoproteins are uniformly distributed in fractions B and C, while chitin is restricted to distinct patches. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that fraction C maintained the original shape of the cells, with an irregular thickness generally wider than the walls. When fraction C was treated with chitinase, the morphology was still present and was maintained by an external glucan layer, with an internal expanded fibrillar material covering the entire cellular lumen. Degradation of the glucan skeleton of fraction C with zymolyase resulted in the loss of the morphology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Candida albicans / chemistry*
  • Cell Wall / chemistry*
  • Cell Wall / ultrastructure
  • Chitin / analysis
  • Chitinases / metabolism
  • Ethylenediamines / pharmacology*
  • Fungal Proteins / analysis
  • Glucans / analysis
  • Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism


  • Ethylenediamines
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Glucans
  • Polysaccharides
  • Chitin
  • zymolyase
  • ethylenediamine
  • Hydrolases
  • Chitinases