Plasma membrane vesicles from the yeast and mycelial phases of Histoplasma capsulatum have been purified and characterized. The method of purification involved differential centrifugation of ballistically fractured cells followed by sedimentation through discontinuous sucrose density gradient and equilibrium centrifugation. Purity of the preparation was assessed by electron microscopy. The protein composition of the membrane preparations from the yeast and mycelial phases of the fungus was analyzed by polyacrylamide gels. A comparison of the two morphologic phases revealed quantitative and qualitative differences in the expressions of several membrane-specific proteins. Physical differences in the appearance of the membranes were also observed by electron micrography of membrane preparations. Alteration in membrane fluidity may be one of the many causes for differences in the appearance of membrane vesicles in the two phases.
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