Summary: The expression of a strongly immunomodulatory mannoprotein complex (GMP) in the different forms of growth of the human commensal and opportunistic pathogen was studied using a monoclonal antibody (mAb AF1) directed against an oligosaccharide epitope of GMP. Immunofluorescence revealed that the surface of the yeast cells was highly reactive with mAb AF1, but that the reactivity was greatly reduced or disappeared during mycelial conversion. This modulation was shared by a number of strains of , and was not solely a temperature- or nutrition-dependent phenomenon. Hypha-deficient strains (A12 and CA2) did not show variations of surface fluorescence under environmental conditions which were permissive for hyphal conversion (incubation in -acetylglucosamine or Lee's medium, at 37 °C). GMP extracts from yeast and mycelial forms of the fungus were separated into three chromatographically distinct, high molecular mass mannoprotein fractions (F1, F2 and F3), which were tested individually by indirect ELISA for mAb AF1 recognition. All yeast-derived constituents and two (F2 and F3) of the hyphal mannoproteins were recognized by the mAb. The low or absent reactivity of the F1 constituent from hyphal cells was confirmed by immunoblots. Irrespective of their source (yeast or mycelial), all fractions reacted to a similar extent with a polyclonal serum. Overall, the data suggest changes in epitope specificity and/or confinement of reactive constituents in the inner wall layers as possible mechanisms of modulated expression of mAb AF1-reactive epitope during mycelial conversion.


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