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There has been extensive research on structure and function of fungal cell adhesion molecules, but the most of the work has been about adhesins in Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These yeasts are members of a single ascomycete order, and adhesion molecules from the six other fungal phyla are only sparsely described in the literature. In these other phyla, most of the research is at the cellular level, rather than at the molecular level, so there has been little characterization of the adhesion molecules themselves. A catalog of known adhesins shows some common features: high Ser/Thr content, tandem repeats, N- and O-glycosylations, GPI anchors, dibasic sequence motifs, and potential amyloid-forming sequences. However, none of these features is universal. Known ligands include proteins and glycans on homologous cells and host cells. Existing and novel tools can exploit the availability of genome sequences to identify and characterize new fungal adhesins. These include bioinformatics tools and well-established yeast surface display models, which could be coupled with an adhesion substrate array. Thus, new knowledge could be exploited to answer key questions in fungal ecology, animal and plant pathogenesis, and roles of biofilms in infection and biomass turnover.


This article was originally published in the Journal of Fungi, available at DOI:10.3390/jof4020059.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 license.



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