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Characterization of (1-3,1-6)-β-D-Glucan Side Chain Structure Provides the Basis for a New Model of Fungal Cell Wall Rigidity and Flexibility

Published

Author(s)

Daniel W. Bearden, Douglas W. Lowman, Lara J. West, Michael F. Wempe, Trevor D. Power, Harry E. Ensley, Ken Haynes, David L. Williams, Michael D. Kruppa

Abstract

Glucan is a (1-3)-β-linked glucose polymer with (1-6)-β-linked side chains and a major component of fungal cell walls. Glucans provide structural integrity to the fungal cell wall. The nature of the (1-6)-β-linked side chain structure of fungal (1-3,1-6)-β-D-glucans has been very difficult to elucidate. Herein, we report the first detailed structural characterization of the (1-6)-β-linked side chains have an averagelength of 4 to 5 repeat units spaced every 21 repeat units along the (1-3)-linked polymer backbone. Molecular modeling indicates that the side chains have a bent curve structure that allows for a flexible interconnection with parallel (1-3)-β-D-glucan polymers, and/or as a point of attachment for proteins. Based on these observations we propose a new model in which the (1-6)-β-linked side chains interconnect neighboring glucan polymers in a manner that maximizes fungal cell wall strength, while also allowing for flexibility, or plasticity.
Citation
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
Volume
6
Issue
11

Keywords

NMR, glucan, fungal cell wall

Citation

Bearden, D. , Lowman, D. , West, L. , Wempe, M. , Power, T. , Ensley, H. , Haynes, K. , Williams, D. and Kruppa, M. (2011), Characterization of (1-3,1-6)-β-D-Glucan Side Chain Structure Provides the Basis for a New Model of Fungal Cell Wall Rigidity and Flexibility, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (Accessed May 24, 2024)

Issues

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Created November 11, 2011, Updated February 19, 2017