Class I hydrophobins function in fungal growth and development by self-assembling at hydrophobic-hydrophilic interfaces into amyloid-like fibrils. SC3 of the mushroom-forming fungus Schizophyllum commune is the best studied class I hydrophobin. This protein spontaneously adopts the amyloid state at the water-air interface. In contrast, SC3 is arrested in an intermediate conformation at the interface between water and a hydrophobic solid such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE; Teflon). This finding prompted us to study conditions that promote assembly of SC3 into amyloid fibrils. Here, we show that SC3 adopts the amyloid state at the water-PTFE interface at high concentration (300 µg ml-1) and prolonged incubation (16 h). Moreover, we show that amyloid formation at both the water-air and water-PTFE interfaces is promoted by the cell wall components schizophyllan (β(1–3),β(1–6)-glucan) and β(1–3)-glucan. Hydrophobin concentration and cell wall polysaccharides thus contribute to the role of SC3 in formation of aerial hyphae and in hyphal attachment.
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