- The structure of cell wall alpha-glucan from fission yeast.
- Volume | Issue number
- 15 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
Morphology and structural integrity of fungal cells depend on cell wall polysaccharides. The chemical structure and biosynthesis of two types of these polysaccharides, chitin and (1rarr3)-beta-glucan, have been studied extensively, whereas little is known about alpha-glucan. Here we describe the chemical structure of alpha-glucan isolated from wild-type and mutant cell walls of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Wild-type alpha-glucan was found to consist of a single population of linear glucose polymers, sim260 residues in length. These glucose polymers were composed of two interconnected linear chains, each consisting of sim120 (1rarr3)-linked alpha-d-glucose residues and some (1rarr4)-linked alpha-d-glucose residues at the reducing end. By contrast, alpha-glucan of an alpha-glucan synthase mutant with an aberrant cell morphology and reduced alpha-glucan levels consisted of a single chain only. We propose that alpha-glucan biosynthesis involves an ordered series of events, whereby two alpha-glucan chains are coupled to create mature cell wall alpha-glucan. This mature form of cell wall alpha-glucan is essential for fission-yeast morphogenesis.
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