Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Chemistry

Date of Award

8-2015

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Cassandra T. Eagle

Committee Members

David Wiliams, Michael Kruppa, Marina Roginskaya

Abstract

C. albicans is a polymorphic fungal pathogen which has the ability to shift from yeast to hyphae. C. albicans cell wall is composed of glucan, chitin, mannoprotein and mannan. It is not possible, using standard extraction methods, to isolate mannan from C. albicans hyphae. To isolate hyphal mannan, we developed a simplified alkali extraction method. Using this method it was determined that hyphal mannan has a much lower molecular weight, a smaller polymer distribution and altered conformation structure when compared to yeast mannan. The hyphal mannan was found to contain little to no acid-labile portion with only α-Man-PO4 groups and no long chains of β-1, 2-linked mannosyl repeat units, when compared to the yeast mannan. It was concluded that the C. albicans hyphal mannan is substantially different from the mannan found in the yeast form. This is an entirely new observation that extends the existing knowledge about the structural biology of C. albicans hyphae and may provide insights into the role of hyphae in pathogenesis.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Chemistry Commons

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