Bioconjugate chemistry

Permeability of yeast cell envelope to fluorescent galactosylated telomers derived from THAM.

PMID 10898566


The work reported herein deals with the study of cellular recognition and permeability phenomena in yeasts. Various galactosylated organic telomers derived from trishydroxymethyl-aminomethane (THAM) and bearing fluorescent moieties were synthesized in order to measure their ability to cross the yeast cell envelope. Grafting fluorescent probes on the organic telomer backbone allowed us to study their specific behaviors toward the yeasts by fluorescence microscopy. Yeasts belonging to the genera Kluyveromyces and Saccharomyces were used for this study. With Saccharomyces yeast cells bearing mannose-specific lectins or lectin-like proteins, on their outer surface, all the galactosylated or nongalactosylated organic telomers passed through the cell envelope and invaded the cytoplasm. With Kluyveromyces yeast cells bearing galactose-specific lectins, the galactosylated organic telomers were blocked at the outer surface while the nongalactosylated derivatives crossed the cell envelope. Moreover, preincubation of Kluyveromyces yeasts with galactose or methylgalactose inhibited the cell surface anchorage of the organic telomers and allowed their penetration into the cytoplasm. When assays were performed on spheroplasts of both Kluyveromyces and Saccharomyces yeasts, no fixation on the surface could be observed, and all the derivatives went through the membrane and invaded the cytoplasm.