Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19563461
Cell. Microbiol. 2009 Nov;11(11):1612-23
Galactofuranose (Galf) is a major molecule found in cell wall polysaccharides, secreted glycoproteins, membrane lipophosphoglycans and sphingolipids of Aspergillus fumigatus. The initial step in the Galf synthetic pathway is the re-arrangement of UDP-galactopyranose to UDP-Galf through the action of UDP-galactopyranose mutase. A mutant lacking the AfUGM1 gene encoding the UDP-galactopyranose mutase has been constructed. In the mutant, though there is a moderate reduction in the mycelial growth associated with an increased branching, it remains as pathogenic and as resistant to cell wall inhibitors and phagocytes as the wild-type parental strain. The major phenotype seen is a modification of the cell wall surface that results in an increase in adhesion of the mutants to different inert surfaces (glass and plastic) and epithelial respiratory cells. The adhesive phenotype is due to the unmasking of the mannan consecutive to the removal of galactofuran by the ugm1 mutation. Removal of the mannan layer from the mutant surface by a mannosidase treatment abolishes mycelial adhesion to surfaces.