By Francis W. Chandler (auth.), Michael R. McGinnis (eds.)
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Extra info for Current Topics in Medical Mycology
Cerevisiae. Notable among these differences are that the walls of Cryptococcus species show an absence or very low content of mannan, they have a higher level of chitin, and they possess (1-3)-a-linked glucan. Numerous chemical studies have been conducted on the capsular material produced by Cr. neoformans, but the complexity of this subject is just beginning to emerge. According to Golubev et al (78, 84, 85), this capsular material occurs at two locations. Part of it exists in loose association with the cell wall (referred to as adhered capsular material by some authors) and sediments, with the cells on centrifugation of the culture.
With few exceptions, glucan and mannan are the main polysaccharides, but a small amount of chitin is also present (114, 148). There is tentative evidence that the walls of some Cryptococcus species contain xylan (135). The capsular polysaccharides produced by some yeasts vary considerably in composition and structure, and they include mannans, phosphomannans, glucans, galactans, galactomannans, pentosylmannans, and various acidic heteropolysaccharides (148). The chemistry of individual cell wall and capsular components has attracted specialized attention; and, detailed reviews of yeast glucans (64, 74), mannans (13, 14, 57), chitin (38, 39, 42), and capsular polysaccharides (81, 170) have been published.
The polysaccharide portion yielded mannose, xylose, galactose, and glucose on hydrolysis, and it also possessed uronic acid residues and 0acetyl groups. Similar capsular substances were isolated from the nonvirulent species Cr. albidus and Cr. laurentii, but these had no O-acetyl groups and significantly lower contents of uronic acid. It is difficult to reconcile the presence of galactose, glucose, and protein in these capsular preparations with the structures proposed by other workers (Fig. 2-5), but it is pertinent to note that Ross and Taylor (161) isolated their material via alcohol precipitation of culture fluids that had been heat-treated at 55°C for 90 minutes to kill the cells.