• Candida albicans;
  • Cell wall;
  • Ultrastructure;
  • Hydrophobicity;
  • Mannoprotein

Abstract Cell surface hydrophobicity influences pathogenesis of Candida albicans. Previous studies suggested that stationary-phase hydrophilic and hydrophobic cells, obtained by growth at 37 and 23°C, respectively, may have similar hydrophobic proteins. However, whether hydrophilic and hydrophobic surface proteins differ during the growth cycle at 37°C is unknown. Freeze-fracture analysis revealed surface fibrillar layer differences between hydrophobic late-lag and hydrophilic stationary-phase yeast cells grown at 37°C. Hydrophilic protein differences were also observed between these populations. However, similar hydrophobic proteins were detected among the late-lag and stationary phase cells grown at 37°C and hydrophobic stationary-phase cells grown at 23°C. These results suggest that hydrophobic proteins remain constant but hydrophilic proteins vary during growth. Thus, conversion from surface hydrophilicity to hydrophobicity by C. albicans may only require alterations in the hydrophilic fibrillar protein components.