Mannan structural complexity is decreased when Candida albicans is cultivated in blood or serum at physiological temperature.
Lowman DW1, Ensley HE, Greene RR, Knagge KJ, Williams DL, Kruppa MD
The Candida albicans cell wall provides an architecture that allows for the organism to survive environmental stress as well as interaction with host tissues. Previous work has focused on growing C. albicans on media such as Sabouraud or YPD at 30°C. Because C. albicans normally colonizes a host, we hypothesized that cultivation on blood or serum at 37°C would result in structural changes in cell wall mannan. C. albicans SC5314 was inoculated onto YPD, 5% blood, or 5% serum agar media three successive times at 30°C and 37°C, then cultivated overnight at 30°C in YPD. The mannan was extracted and characterized using 1D and 2D (1)H NMR techniques. At 30°C cells grown in blood and serum contain less acid-stable terminal β-(1→2)-linked d-mannose and α-(1→2)-linked d-mannose-containing side chains, while the acid-labile side chains of mannan grown in blood and serum contain fewer β-Man-(1→2)-α-Man-(1→ side chains. The decrement in acid-stable mannan side chains is greater at 37°C than at 30°C. Cells grown on blood at 37°C show fewer →6)-α-Man-(1→ structural motifs in the acid-stable polymer backbone. The data indicate that C. albicans, grown on media containing host-derived components, produces less complex mannan. This is accentuated when the cells are cultured at 37°C. This study demonstrates that the C. albicans cell wall is a dynamic and adaptive organelle, which alters its structural phenotype in response to growth in host-derived media at physiological temperature.