Function and biosynthesis of cell wall α-1,3-glucan in fungi

Akira Yoshimi, Ken Miyazawa, Keietsu Abe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Although α-1,3-glucan is a major cell wall polysaccharide in filamentous fungi, its biological functions remain unclear, except that it acts as a virulence factor in animal and plant pathogenic fungi: it conceals cell wall β-glucan on the fungal cell surface to circumvent recognition by hosts. However, cell wall α-1,3-glucan is also present in many of non-pathogenic fungi. Recently, the universal function of α-1,3-glucan as an aggregation factor has been demonstrated. Applications of fungi with modified cell wall α-1,3-glucan in the fermentation industry and of in vitro enzymatically-synthesized α-1,3-glucan in bio-plastics have been developed. This review focuses on the recent progress in our understanding of the biological functions and biosynthetic mechanism of cell wall α-1,3-glucan in fungi. We briefly consider the history of studies on α-1,3-glucan, overview its biological functions and biosynthesis, and finally consider the industrial applications of fungi deficient in α-1,3-glucan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec


  • Aggregation factor
  • Aspergillus
  • Cell wall
  • Dimorphic yeast
  • Filamentous fungi
  • Virulence factor
  • α-1, 3-glucan


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