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Keywords:

  • Candida albicans;
  • Human fibrinogen;
  • Germ tubes

Abstract Recent evidence for the interaction between human fibrinogen and Candida albicans germ tubes have led us to attempt to characterize the structures involved. Using 125I-radiolabeled proteins, fibrinogen purified by affinity chromatography and its plasmin degradation products, the binding sites on the fibrinogen molecule appeared to be located specifically in the D-domain. Conversely to the fibrinogen and the fragment D, radiolabeled fragment E, however, did not interact with cell. The binding was time-dependent, saturable and reversible. Scatchard analysis of the data obtained revealed an average of 6000 binding sites per germ tube with dissociation constant (Kd) of 5.2 × 10−8 M. No potent competition was observed for a range of different proteins and carbohydrates. Fibrinogen fragment D binding proteins were identified using a dithiothreitol-iodoacetamide extract of the fungus. By sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blotting, one compotent of 68 kDa was detected. Thus, the presence of fibrinogen binding proteins specifically localized on the cell wall surface of C. albicans germ tubes may constitute one of the factors involved in the development of candidosis.