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Fungal Cell Wall Analysis

Chapter
Part of the Fungal Biology book series (FUNGBIO)

Abstract

Fungal cell wall is a rigid structure mainly composed of polysaccharides (up to 90 %) and glycoproteins. It is essential for survival of the fungal cells, because it protects them against bursting caused by internal turgor pressure and against mechanical injury. Because of its absence in mammalian cells, it is an attractive target for antifungal agents. Thus, for various reasons, it might be important to know how the cell wall is synthesized, and how to analyze its composition. We provide here information about in vitro analysis of the biosynthetic activities of the main fungal wall and describe some methods for rapid analysis of cell wall composition by using specific enzymatic degradations. We also describe some additional methods that can be occasionally used to analyze fungal wall properties or composition. These methods provide powerful tools to evaluate changes in fungal cell walls and will be useful for screening new compounds for antifungal activity that might cause inhibition of cell wall biosynthesis and/or alter the structure of the fungal cell wall.

Keywords

Cell wall Polysaccharides Glucan Chitin Mannan Antifungal drugs 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank D. Posner for language revision. This work was supported by grants BFU2010-15641 and BIO2009-10597 from the Dirección General de Investigación, MICINN, Spain, and grant CSI038A11-2 from the Junta de Castilla y León, Spain.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Biología Funcional y Genómica (IBFG) CSICUniversidad de SalamancaCSalamancaSpain

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