A 30-kDa proteolytic fragment from the gelatin/collagen-binding domain of fibronectin is a potent inhibitor of fibronectin binding to Candida albicans, with a molar inhibition constant equal to that of intact fibronectin. Recombinant and proteolytic fragments from the cell-, the fibrin I-, and the heparin II-binding domains also inhibit fibronectin binding, but are 13-1000-fold less active. In suspension, binding of fibronectin to C. albicans is regulated by growth conditions and is specific, saturable, time-dependent, reversible, and divalent cation-independent. Scatchard plot analyses indicate the presence of high affinity (Kd = 1.3 x 10(-9) M) and low affinity (Kd = 1.2 x 10(-7) M) receptors. Recombinant or proteolytic fragments from four binding domains of fibronectin promote adhesion of C. albicans. A recombinant fragment corresponding to the cell-binding domain but with the sequence Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser deleted promotes C. albicans adhesion and inhibits fibronectin binding to C. albicans with the same activity as the natural sequence. Furthermore, four peptides containing the Arg-Gly-Asp-Val sequence and the peptides CS-1 and Arg-Glu-Asp-Val did not block the binding of fibronectin to C. albicans. Thus, in contrast to the specific binding of soluble fibronectin, recognition of immobilized fibronectin by C. albicans is mediated by several domains of the protein. Interactions with the cell-binding domain are not mediated by the Arg-Gly-Asp or other known recognition sequences as it has been suggested. Binding of fibronectin also did not correlate with C3d binding to the avirulent clones of C. albicans strain H12 or with iC3b binding to variants of the strain 4918.
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