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Carbohydr Res. 2012 Jan 10;347(1):186-8. doi: 10.1016/j.carres.2011.11.019. Epub 2011 Dec 3.

Identification of the methyl phosphate substituent at the non-reducing terminal mannose residue of the O-specific polysaccharides of Klebsiella pneumoniae O3, Hafnia alvei PCM 1223 and Escherichia coli O9/O9a LPS.

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  • 1National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


O-specific polysaccharides of Gram-negative bacteria are synthesized by two different mechanisms: polymerization of the pre-formed O-repeating unit or sequential addition of the monosaccharides to the growing polysaccharide chain. In the second case, growth of the polymer can be further subdivided into two groups depending on the presence or absence of a special monosaccharide or non-sugar substituent that terminates the glycan. A family of polymannose O-polysaccharides provides prototypes for the chain terminating process. Polysaccharides of Klebsiella pneumoniae O3, Hafnia alvei PCM 1223, and Escherichia coli O9 have the same penta-mannose repeating unit. E. coli O9a has tetra-mannose repeat and this structure can be produced by mutants of E. coli O9. The mechanism of biosynthesis of H. alvei 1223 O-polysaccharide has not been reported. Here we show that all above polysaccharides contain the same modification at the non-reducing end; presence of a methyl phosphate group at O-3 of α-mannopyranose, that serves as the signal for termination of the chain elongation.

Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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