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Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Isolation and biochemical characterization of cell wall tight protein complex involved in self-flocculation of Kluyveromyces bulgaricus.


PMID 11827208

Abstract

Flocculation of yeasts is a cell-cell aggregation phenomenon which is driven by interactions between cell wall lectins and cell wall heteropolysaccharides. In Sabouraud medium, Kluyveromyces bulgaricus was highly flocculent. Incubation of flocculent K. bulgaricus cells with EDTA or Hecameg led to extracts showing hemagglutinating and flocculating properties. Purification of the extracts by native PAGE gave two bands which allowed flocculation of deflocculated K. bulgaricus. Both bands with specific reflocculating activity were composed of five subunits, of which only three possessed weak reflocculating activity upon deflocculated yeast. The mixture of these three proteins allow the recovery of initial specific reflocculating activity of the complex. These three proteins, denoted p28, p36 and p48, presented, in their first 15 amino acids, homologies with glycolysis enzymes, i.e., 3-phosphoglycerate mutase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and enolase, respectively. However, no such enzymatic activity could be detected in the crude extract issued from treatment with EDTA and Hecameg of flocculent yeast cells. When yeasts had grown in glucose poor medium, flocculation was drastically affected. The EDTA and Hecameg crude extracts showed weak reflocculating activity. After PAGE, the protein complexes did not appear in the EDTA extract, but they did appear in the Hecameg crude extract. These results suggest that: (i) self-flocculation of K. bulgaricus depends on the expression of different floc-forming protein complex, (ii) these proteins are galactose specific lectins showing homologies in their primary structure with glycolysis enzymes.

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