Life and Medical Sciences
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The yeast FLO genes encode cell surface proteins which are expected to play a major role in the control of flocculation. We have assessed the availability of the Flo proteins at the cell surface during the growth of two flocculent strains, ABXL-1D (FLO1) and STX347-1D (FLO5) using immunological approaches, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and immunofluorescence. Our data show that they are not permanently present at the cell surface but that their amount increases during growth. With both strains the flocculation level is tightly correlated to the amount of Flop antigen detected, suggesting that it is the availability of the Flo proteins at the cell surface which determines the flocculation level. Our data are consistent with the idea that the Flo proteins correspond to the flocculation lectins. The differences of flocculation pattern among strains could originate from variations in the regulation of the expression of the FLO genes. Monitoring of the distribution of the Flo proteins during cellular development revealed that they are incorporated essentially in the cell wall of growing buds. Incorporation of the Flo proteins in the cell wall displays a highly polarized aspect, at the bud tip and at the mother-daughter neck junction, which can persist in mature cells. Such a localization could be relevant to constraints of the cell wall incorporation of the mannoproteins. Depending on the regulation of Flop expression and on the incorporation of the proteins in the cell wall, a yeast population can be highly heterogeneous in Flo protein equipment. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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