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J Gen Microbiol. 1987 Jan;133(1):201-9.

Detection of trehalose monomycolate in Mycobacterium leprae grown in armadillo tissues.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, Colorado 80206.


Trehalose-6-monomycolate (TMM) was isolated from the lipids of armadillo-derived Mycobacterium leprae. Only meagre amounts of this glycolipid were recovered, but its structure was unequivocally established. Only alpha-mycolates were detected in the TMM by 252Cf plasma desorption mass spectrometry. Electron impact mass spectrometry showed the alpha branch to be principally C20. Trehalose dimycolate (cord factor) was not detectable. Since we have also found TMM in M. lepraemurium and in every Mycobacterium species so far examined, we suggest that this glycolipid is truly ubiquitous amongst mycobacteria.

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