The ALS (agglutinin-like sequence) gene family of Candida albicans encodes cell-surface glycoproteins implicated in adhesion of the organism to host surfaces. Southern blot analysis with ALS-specific probes suggested the presence of ALS gene families in C. dubliniensis and C. tropicalis; three partial ALS genes were isolated from each organism. Northern blot analysis demonstrated that mechanisms governing expression of ALS genes in C. albicans and C. dubliniensis are different. Western blots with an anti-Als serum showed that cross-reactive proteins are linked by β1,6-glucan in the cell wall of each non-albicans Candida, suggesting similar cell wall architecture and conserved processing of Als proteins in these organisms. Although an ALS family is present in each organism, phylogenetic analysis of the C. albicans, C. dubliniensis, and C. tropicalis ALS genes indicated that, within each species, sequence diversification is extensive and unique ALS sequences have arisen. Phylogenetic analysis of the ALS and SAP (secreted aspartyl proteinase) families show that the ALS family is younger than the SAP family. ALS genes in C. albicans, C. dubliniensis, and C. tropicalis tend to be located on chromosomes that also encode genes from the SAP family, yet the two families have unexpectedly different evolutionary histories. Homologous recombination between the tandem repeat sequences present in ALS genes could explain the different histories for co-localized genes in a predominantly clonal organism like C. albicans.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - 2001|
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