Cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) of grown both in complex medium (yeast extract/peptone/dextrose; YPD) and minimal (Vogel's N) medium was monitored by assessing attachment of polystyrene microspheres to the cell surface. It was found that mature mycelium was hydrophobic. Treatment of intact mycelium with β-mercaptoethanol (βME) abolished binding of the microspheres to hyphal elements, and coating of the microspheres with βME extracts from mycelium inhibited their attachment to intact mycelial cells. mycelium was tagged with biotin and treated with βME. The βME extracts were analysed by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting with both peroxidase-conjugated-ExtrAvidin and concanavalin A (ConA). This procedure allowed identification of cell wall surface proteins and glycoproteins. Rabbit polyclonal antisera were raised against βME extracts obtained from cells grown in YPD and Vogel's N media. These antisera defined some major cell-wall-bound antigens. SDS-PAGE and Western blotting analysis of the cell wall material released by βME and adsorbed on polystyrene microspheres revealed about 19 protein species with apparent molecular masses ranging from 20 to 70 kDa, and two high-molecular-mass glycoproteins of 115 and 210 kDa. Treatment of cells grown in YPD, but not those grown in Vogel's N medium, with βME released a 55 kDa polypeptide able to adsorb to polystyrene microspheres that was detectable with the antisera. The ability to bind to polystyrene particles exhibited by several protein and glycoprotein species released by βME treatment suggested that these cell wall moieties possess exposed hydrophobic domains that could be responsible for the CSH of mycelium.


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