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J Bacteriol. 2009 Aug;191(16):5272-82. doi: 10.1128/JB.00019-09. Epub 2009 Jun 12.

Structural analysis of the core region of O-lipopolysaccharide of Porphyromonas gingivalis from mutants defective in O-antigen ligase and O-antigen polymerase.

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  • 1Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Centre for Infectious Disease, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, 4 Newark Street, London E1 2AT, United Kingdom.


Porphyromonas gingivalis synthesizes two lipopolysaccharides (LPSs), O-LPS and A-LPS. Here, we elucidate the structure of the core oligosaccharide (OS) of O-LPS from two mutants of P. gingivalis W50, Delta PG1051 (WaaL, O-antigen ligase) and Delta PG1142 (O-antigen polymerase), which synthesize R-type LPS (core devoid of O antigen) and SR-type LPS (core plus one repeating unit of O antigen), respectively. Structural analyses were performed using one-dimensional and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in combination with composition and methylation analysis. The outer core OS of O-LPS occurs in two glycoforms: an "uncapped core," which is devoid of O polysaccharide (O-PS), and a "capped core," which contains the site of O-PS attachment. The inner core region lacks L(D)-glycero-D(l)-manno-heptosyl residues and is linked to the outer core via 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid, which is attached to a glycerol residue in the outer core via a monophosphodiester bridge. The outer region of the "uncapped core" is attached to the glycerol and is composed of a linear alpha-(1-->3)-linked d-Man OS containing four or five mannopyranosyl residues, one-half of which are modified by phosphoethanolamine at position 6. An amino sugar, alpha-D-allosamine, is attached to the glycerol at position 3. In the "capped core," there is a three- to five-residue extension of alpha-(1-->3)-linked Man residues glycosylating the outer core at the nonreducing terminal residue. beta-D-GalNAc from the O-PS repeating unit is attached to the nonreducing terminal Man at position 3. The core OS of P. gingivalis O-LPS is therefore a highly unusual structure, and it is the basis for further investigation of the mechanism of assembly of the outer membrane of this important periodontal bacterium.

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