Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 73–81

Biosynthesis of β-glucans in fungi

Authors

  • José Ruiz-Herrera
    • Departamento de Genética y Biologia MolecularCentro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN
    • Unidad IrapuatoCentro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00572695

Cite this article as:
Ruiz-Herrera, J. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1991) 60: 73. doi:10.1007/BF00572695

Abstract

Glucans are the most abundant polysaccharides present in fungi. The present review provides updated information on the structure and synthesis of β-glucans in fungal cells. Synthesis of these polymers made up of B1,3 chains with a variable degree of B1,6 branching involves several reactions: initiation, chain elongation and branching, of which the most studied one is the elongation step. This reaction, catalyzed by the so-called glucan synthetases, utilizes UDPG as sugar donor. Properties of glucan synthetases are extremely variable depending on the fungal species, and their developmental stage. Because of the importance of these polysaccharides it is anticipated that comprehension of their mechanism of synthesis, is important for the understanding of cell wall assembly and cell growth and morphogenesis, as well as for the design of specific antifungal drugs.

Key words

cell wallfungiglucans

Abreviations

UDPG

uridine-diphospho-glucose

GDPG

guanosine-diphospho-glucose

ADPG

adenosine-diphospho-glucose

MW

molecular weight

mic

minimal inhibitory concentration

d.p.

degree of polymerization

PAGE

polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

SDS

sodium dodecyl sulfate

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991