Zymosan is an insoluble cell wall polysaccharide of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). It is mannan-rich and prepared according to Pillemer et al., 1956. Zymosan activates the alternative complement cascade. It becomes coated with C3b/C3bi and is therefore a convenient opsonized particle. It also leads to C5a - production in serum.
Zymosan is used for a lot of physiological and immunological studies. It is a potent stimulator of alveolar macrophages. It induces the release of cytokines , e.g., interleukin 8 (IL8) from human neutrophils and proinflammatory cytokines in immune cells. The toll-like receptor 2 has been shown to be involved in zymosan induced signaling. Zymosan also induces protein phosphorylation and inositol phosphate formation.
Literature: Sato et al. (2003) The Journal of Immunology 171, 417-425
A Biosynth product
Biosynth is the largest manufacturer of zymosan A using proprietary technology producing multi-kilogram lots of the material. Please inquire (also for other zymosans).