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1.  The structure of the L9 immunotype lipooligosaccharide from Neisseria meningitidis NMA Z2491 
Carbohydrate research  2008;343(17):2971-2979.
The lipooligosaccharide (LOS) from the N. meningitidis prototype serogroup A strain NMA Z2491, an L9 immunotype LOS, was isolated and structurally characterized using glycosyl composition and linkage determination, mass spectrometry and both 1- and 2-D nuclear resonance spectroscopy. The results show that the L9 LOS has an identical structure to that of an L4 LOS structure with the exception that it does not contain a sialic acid residue linked to position 3 of the lactoneotetraose terminal galactosyl residue. Further, two oligosaccharides are present in the Z2491 LOS preparation, OS1 and OS2. They differ from one another only in that OS2 contains an added glycine moiety, presumably at O-7 on the inner core Hep II residue. The structures of these oligosaccharides are as follows: Where R = H or Gly.
PMCID: PMC2784147  PMID: 18804756
Neisseria meningitidis; NMA; L9 Immunotype; Lipooligosaccharide; LOS; Structure; Phosphoethanolamine
2.  Galactose Residues on the Lipooligosaccharide of Moraxella catarrhalis 26404 Form the Epitope Recognized by the Bactericidal Antiserum from Conjugate Vaccination▿  
Infection and Immunity  2008;76(9):4251-4258.
Lipooligosaccharide (LOS) from Moraxella catarrhalis has the potential to elicit bactericidal antibodies against the pathogen. We generated LOS-based conjugate vaccines that elicited bactericidal antibodies in animal models. However, epitopes on the LOS recognized by the functional anti-LOS antibodies remain unidentified. In this study, a mutant strain, D4, which lost the recognition by a bactericidal anti-LOS rabbit serum in Western blotting was generated from a serotype C strain 26404 by random transposon mutagenesis. Sequence analysis revealed there was an insertion of a kanamycin resistance gene in the lgt2 gene of D4, which encodes β(1-4)-galactosyltransferase. An isogenic lgt2 mutant, 26404lgt2, was constructed. Structural analysis indicated that the mutant strain produced a truncated LOS lacking terminal galactoses from 4- and 6-linked oligosaccharide chains of strain 26404. Further studies showed that the antiserum lost the recognition of both mutant cells and LOSs in Western blotting, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), or a flow cytometry assay. The antiserum also lost the ability to kill the mutant strain in a bactericidal assay, whereas it showed a bactericidal titer of 1:80 to strain 26404. In an inhibition ELISA, d-(+)-galactose or 26404lgt2 LOS showed no inhibition. However, the 26404 LOS and a serotype A O35E LOS with terminal galactoses on its 6-linked oligosaccharide chain showed >90% inhibition, while a serotype B 26397 LOS showed >60% inhibition. These studies suggest that the terminal α-Gal-(1→4)-β-Gal on the 6-linked oligosaccharide chain of 26404 LOS plays a critical role in forming the epitope recognized by the bactericidal antiserum induced by immunization with our conjugate vaccine.
PMCID: PMC2519401  PMID: 18559429
3.  Streptococcus iniae Capsule Impairs Phagocytic Clearance and Contributes to Virulence in Fish▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;189(4):1279-1287.
Surface capsular polysaccharides play a critical role in protecting several pathogenic microbes against innate host defenses during infection. Little is known about virulence mechanisms of the fish pathogen Streptococcus iniae, though indirect evidence suggests that capsule could represent an important factor. The putative S. iniae capsule operon contains a homologue of the cpsD gene, which is required for capsule polymerization and export in group B Streptococcus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. To elucidate the role of capsule in the S. iniae infectious process, we deleted cpsD from the genomes of two virulent S. iniae strains by allelic exchange mutagenesis to generate the isogenic capsule-deficient ΔcpsD strains. Compared to wild-type S. iniae, the ΔcpsD mutants had a predicted reduction in buoyancy and cell surface negative charge. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed a decrease in the abundance of extracellular capsular polysaccharide. Gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of the S. iniae extracellular polysaccharides showed the presence of l-fucose, d-mannose, d-galactose, d-glucose, d-glucuronic acid, N-acetyl-d-galactosamine, and N-acetyl-d-glucosamine, and all except mannose were reduced in concentration in the isogenic mutant. The ΔcpsD mutants were highly attenuated in vivo in a hybrid striped bass infection challenge despite being more adherent and invasive to fish epithelial cells and more resistant to cationic antimicrobial peptides than wild-type S. iniae. Increased susceptibility of the S. iniae ΔcpsD mutants to phagocytic killing in whole fish blood and by a fish macrophage cell line confirmed the role of capsule in virulence and highlighted its antiphagocytic function. In summary, we report a genetically defined study on the role of capsule in S. iniae virulence and provide preliminary analysis of S. iniae capsular polysaccharide sugar components.
PMCID: PMC1797360  PMID: 17098893
5.  The Pea Nodule Environment Restores the Ability of a Rhizobium leguminosarum Lipopolysaccharide acpXL Mutant To Add 27-Hydroxyoctacosanoic Acid to Its Lipid A 
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;188(6):2126-2133.
Members of the Rhizobiaceae contain 27-hydroxyoctacosanoic acid (27OHC28:0) in their lipid A. A Rhizobium leguminosarum 3841 acpXL mutant (named here Rlv22) lacking a functional specialized acyl carrier lacked 27OHC28:0 in its lipid A, had altered growth and physiological properties (e.g., it was unable to grow in the presence of an elevated salt concentration [0.5% NaCl]), and formed irregularly shaped bacteroids, and the synchronous division of this mutant and the host plant-derived symbiosome membrane was disrupted. In spite of these defects, the mutant was able to persist within the root nodule cells and eventually form, albeit inefficiently, nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. This result suggested that while it is in a host root nodule, the mutant may have some mechanism by which it adapts to the loss of 27OHC28:0 from its lipid A. In order to further define the function of this fatty acyl residue, it was necessary to examine the lipid A isolated from mutant bacteroids. In this report we show that addition of 27OHC28:0 to the lipid A of Rlv22 lipopolysaccharides is partially restored in Rlv22 acpXL mutant bacteroids. We hypothesize that R. leguminosarum bv. viciae 3841 contains an alternate mechanism (e.g., another acp gene) for the synthesis of 27OHC28:0, which is activated when the bacteria are in the nodule environment, and that it is this alternative mechanism which functionally replaces acpXL and is responsible for the synthesis of 27OHC28:0-containing lipid A in the Rlv22 acpXL bacteroids.
PMCID: PMC1428142  PMID: 16513742
6.  Multiplex PCR Assay That Identifies the Major Lipooligosaccharide Serotype Expressed by Moraxella catarrhalis Clinical Isolates 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(12):6139-6143.
A heterologous cluster of glycosyltransferase genes was identified in the three Moraxella catarrhalis LOS serotype strains. Multiple PCR primers designed to this region amplified products that differentiate between the serotypes more rapidly and efficiently than previously described serological analyses. This assay will be valuable for clinical and research-based studies.
PMCID: PMC1317230  PMID: 16333114
7.  Differential Induction of the Toll-Like Receptor 4-MyD88-Dependent and -Independent Signaling Pathways by Endotoxins  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(5):2940-2950.
The biological response to endotoxin mediated through the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-MD-2 receptor complex is directly related to lipid A structure or configuration. Endotoxin structure may also influence activation of the MyD88-dependent and -independent signaling pathways of TLR4. To address this possibility, human macrophage-like cell lines (THP-1, U937, and MM6) or murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells were stimulated with picomolar concentrations of highly purified endotoxins. Harvested supernatants from previously stimulated cells were also used to stimulate RAW 264.7 or 23ScCr (TLR4-deficient) macrophages (i.e., indirect induction). Neisseria meningitidis lipooligosaccharide (LOS) was a potent direct inducer of the MyD88-dependent pathway molecules tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), macrophage inflammatory protein 3α (MIP-3α), and the MyD88-independent molecules beta interferon (IFN-β), nitric oxide, and IFN-γ-inducible protein 10 (IP-10). Escherichia coli 55:B5 and Vibrio cholerae lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) at the same pmole/ml lipid A concentrations induced comparable levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and MIP-3α, but significantly less IFN-β, nitric oxide, and IP-10. In contrast, LPS from Salmonella enterica serovars Minnesota and Typhimurium induced amounts of IFN-β, nitric oxide, and IP-10 similar to meningococcal LOS but much less TNF-α and MIP-3α in time course and dose-response experiments. No MyD88-dependent or -independent response to endotoxin was seen in TLR4-deficient cell lines (C3H/HeJ and 23ScCr) and response was restored in TLR4-MD-2-transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells. Blocking the MyD88-dependent pathway by DNMyD88 resulted in significant reduction of TNF-α release but did not influence nitric oxide release. IFN-β polyclonal antibody and IFN-α/β receptor 1 antibody significantly reduced nitric oxide release. N. meningitidis endotoxin was a potent agonist of both the MyD88-dependent and -independent signaling pathways of the TLR4 receptor complex of human macrophages. E. coli 55:B5 and Vibrio cholerae LPS, at the same picomolar lipid A concentrations, selectively induced the MyD88-dependent pathway, while Salmonella LPS activated the MyD88-independent pathway.
PMCID: PMC1087371  PMID: 15845500
8.  Translocation and Surface Expression of Lipidated Serogroup B Capsular Polysaccharide in Neisseria meningitidis  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(3):1491-1505.
The capsule of N. meningitidis serogroup B, (α2→8)-linked polysialic acid and the capsules of other meningococcal serogroups and of other gram-negative bacterial pathogens are anchored in the outer membrane through a 1,2-diacylglycerol moiety. Previous work on the meningococcal cps complex in Escherichia coli K-12 indicated that deletion of genes designated lipA and lipB caused intracellular accumulation of hyperelongated capsule polymers lacking the phospholipid substitution. To better understand the role of lip and lipB in capsule expression in a meningococcal background, the location, sequence, and relationship to related bacterial capsule genes were defined and specific mutations in lipA and lipB were generated in the serogroup B meningococcal strain NMB. The lipA and lipB genes are located on the 3′ end of the ctr operon and are most likely transcribed independently. Inactivation of lipA, lipB, and both resulted in the same total levels of capsular polymer production as in the parental controls; however, these mutants were as sensitive as an unencapsulated mutant to killing by normal human serum. Immunogold electron microscopy and flow cytometric analyses revealed intracellular inclusions of capsular polymers in lipA, lipB, and lipA lipB mutants. Capsular polymers purified from lipA, lipB, and lipA lipB mutants were lipidated. The phospholipid anchor was shown by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy analysis to be a phosphodiester-linked 1,2-dipalmitoyl (C16:0) glycerol moiety and was identical in structure to that found on the wild-type meningococcal capsule polymers. Thus, lipA and lipB do not encode proteins responsible for diacylglycerophosphatidic acid substitution of the meningococcal capsule polymer; rather, they are required for proper translocation and surface expression of the lipidated polymer.
PMCID: PMC1064937  PMID: 15731047
9.  Reconstitution of O-Specific Lipopolysaccharide Expression in Burkholderia cenocepacia Strain J2315, Which Is Associated with Transmissible Infections in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis†  
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(4):1324-1333.
Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic bacterium that infects patients with cystic fibrosis. B. cenocepacia strains J2315, K56-2, C5424, and BC7 belong to the ET12 epidemic clone, which is transmissible among patients. We have previously shown that transposon mutants with insertions within the O antigen cluster of strain K56-2 are attenuated for survival in a rat model of lung infection. From the genomic DNA sequence of the O antigen-deficient strain J2315, we have identified an O antigen lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis gene cluster that has an IS402 interrupting a predicted glycosyltransferase gene. A comparison with the other clonal isolates revealed that only strain K56-2, which produced O antigen and displayed serum resistance, lacked the insertion element inserted within the putative glycosyltransferase gene. We cloned the uninterrupted gene and additional flanking sequences from K56-2 and conjugated this plasmid into strains J2315, C5424, and BC7. All the exconjugants recovered the ability to form LPS O antigen. We also determined that the structure of the strain K56-2 O antigen repeat, which was absent from the LPS of strain J2315, consisted of a trisaccharide unit made of rhamnose and two N-acetylgalactosamine residues. The complexity of the gene organization of the K56-2 O antigen cluster was also investigated by reverse transcription-PCR, revealing several transcriptional units, one of which also contains genes involved in lipid A-core oligosaccharide biosynthesis.
PMCID: PMC545620  PMID: 15687196
10.  Neisseria meningitidis Lipooligosaccharide Structure-Dependent Activation of the Macrophage CD14/Toll-Like Receptor 4 Pathway  
Infection and Immunity  2004;72(1):371-380.
Meningococcal lipopoly(oligo)saccharide (LOS) is a major inflammatory mediator of fulminant meningococcal sepsis and meningitis. Highly purified wild-type meningococcal LOS and LOS from genetically defined mutants of Neisseria meningitidis that contained specific mutations in LOS biosynthesis pathways were used to confirm that meningococcal LOS activation of macrophages was CD14/Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-MD-2 dependent and to elucidate the LOS structural requirement for TLR4 activation. Expression of TLR4 but not TLR2 was required, and antibodies to both TLR4 and CD14 blocked meningococcal LOS activation of macrophages. Meningococcal LOS α or β chain oligosaccharide structure did not influence CD14/TLR4-MD-2 activation. However, meningococcal lipid A, expressed by meningococci with defects in 3-deoxy-d-manno-octulosonic acid (KDO) biosynthesis or transfer, resulted in an ∼10-fold (P < 0.0001) reduction in biologic activity compared to KDO2-containing meningococcal LOS. Removal of KDO2 from LOS by acid hydrolysis also dramatically attenuated cellular responses. Competitive inhibition assays showed similar binding of glycosylated and unglycosylated lipid A to CD14/TLR4-MD-2. A decrease in the number of lipid A phosphate head groups or penta-acylated meningococcal LOS modestly attenuated biologic activity. Meningococcal endotoxin is a potent agonist of the macrophage CD14/TLR4-MD-2 receptor, helping explain the fulminant presentation of meningococcal sepsis and meningitis. KDO2 linked to meningococcal lipid A was structurally required for maximal activation of the human macrophage TLR4 pathway and indicates an important role for KDO-lipid A in endotoxin biologic activity.
PMCID: PMC343956  PMID: 14688118
11.  A Rhizobium leguminosarum AcpXL Mutant Produces Lipopolysaccharide Lacking 27-Hydroxyoctacosanoic Acid 
Journal of Bacteriology  2003;185(6):1841-1850.
The structure of the lipid A from Rhizobium etli and Rhizobium leguminosarum lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) lacks phosphate and contains a galacturonosyl residue at its 4′ position, an acylated 2-aminogluconate in place of the proximal glucosamine, and a very long chain ω-1 hydroxy fatty acid, 27-hydroxyoctacosanoic acid (27OHC28:0). The 27OHC28:0 moiety is common in lipid A's among members of the Rhizobiaceae and also among a number of the facultative intracellular pathogens that form chronic infections, e.g., Brucella abortus, Bartonella henselae, and Legionella pneumophila. In this paper, a mutant of R. leguminosarum was created by placing a kanamycin resistance cassette within acpXL, the gene which encodes the acyl carrier protein for 27OHC28:0. The result was an LPS containing a tetraacylated lipid A lacking 27OHC28:0. A small amount of the mutant lipid A may contain an added palmitic acid residue. The mutant is sensitive to changes in osmolarity and an increase in acidity, growth conditions that likely occur in the nodule microenvironment. In spite of the probably hostile microenvironment of the nodule, the acpXL mutant is still able to form nitrogen-fixing root nodules even though the appearance and development of nodules are delayed. Therefore, it is possible that the acpXL mutant has a host-inducible mechanism which enables it to adapt to these physiological changes.
PMCID: PMC150140  PMID: 12618448
12.  Endotoxin of Neisseria meningitidis Composed Only of Intact Lipid A: Inactivation of the Meningococcal 3-Deoxy-d-Manno-Octulosonic Acid Transferase 
Journal of Bacteriology  2002;184(9):2379-2388.
Lipopolysaccharide, lipooligosaccharide (LOS), or endotoxin is important in bacterial survival and the pathogenesis of gram-negative bacteria. A necessary step in endotoxin biosynthesis is 3-deoxy-d-manno-octulosonic acid (Kdo) glycosylation of lipid A, catalyzed by the Kdo transferase KdtA (WaaA). In enteric gram-negative bacteria, this step is essential for survival. A nonpolar kdtA::aphA-3 mutation was created in Neisseria meningitidis via allelic exchange, and the mutant was viable. Detailed structural analysis demonstrated that the endotoxin of the kdtA::aphA-3 mutant was composed of fully acylated lipid A with variable phosphorylation but without Kdo glycosylation. In contrast to what happens in other gram-negative bacteria, tetra-acylated lipid IVA did not accumulate. The LOS structure of the kdtA::aphA-3 mutant was restored to the wild-type structure by complementation with kdtA from N. meningitidis or Escherichia coli. The expression of a fully acylated, unglycosylated lipid A indicates that lipid A biosynthesis in N. meningitidis can proceed without the addition of Kdo and that KdtA is not essential for survival of the meningococcus.
PMCID: PMC134985  PMID: 11948150
13.  WbjA Adds Glucose To Complete the O-Antigen Trisaccharide Repeating Unit of the Lipopolysaccharide of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Serogroup O11 
Journal of Bacteriology  2002;184(1):323-326.
Lipopolysaccharide from a wbjA mutant, deficient in a putative glycosyltransferase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa serogroup O11, was compared to that from an O-antigen polymerase mutant. Results suggest that WbjA adds the terminal glucose to complete the serogroup O11 O-antigen unit and identifies the biological repeating unit as [-2)-β-D-glucose-(1-3)-α-L-N-acetylfucosamine-(1-3)-β-D-N-acetylfucosamine-(1].
PMCID: PMC134784  PMID: 11741875

Results 1-13 (13)