Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoite binding of representative fungal single cell forms

Stephen N. Smith, Jamshaid A. Khan, Richard A. Armstrong, Bishal Mohindru, Mark Prince, John M. Whipps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites bind yeast cells of Candida albicans isolates within a few hours, leaving few cells in suspension or still attached to trophozoite surfaces. The nature of yeast cell recognition, mediated by an acanthamoebal trophozoite mannose binding protein is confirmed by experiments utilizing concentration dependent mannose hapten blocking. Similarly, acapsulate cells of Cryptococcus neoformans are also bound within a relatively short timescale. However, even after protracted incubation many capsulate cells of Cryptococcus remain in suspension, suggesting that the capsulate cell form of this species is not predated by acanthamoebal trophozoites. Further aspects of the association of Acanthamoeba and fungi are apparent when studying their interaction with conidia of the biocontrol agent Coniothyrium minitans. Conidia which readily bind with increasing maturity of up to 42 days, were little endocytosed and even released. Cell and conidial surface mannose as determined by FITC-lectin binding, flow cytometry with associated ligand binding analysis and hapten blocking studies demonstrates the following phenomena. Candida isolates and acapsulate Cryptococcus expose most mannose, while capsulate Cryptococcus cells exhibit least exposure commensurate with yeast cellular binding or lack of trophozoites. Conidia of Coniothyrium, albeit in a localized fashion, also manifest surface mannose exposure but as shown by Bmax values, in decreasing amounts with increasing maturity. Contrastingly such conidia experience greater trophozoite binding with maturation, thereby questioning the primacy of a trophozoite mannose-binding-protein recognition model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-300
Number of pages12
JournalActa Protozoologica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • conidia
  • endocytosis
  • mannose
  • trophozoite
  • yeast


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