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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Mar;80(5):1159-63.

An intermediate step in translocation of lipopolysaccharide to the outer membrane of Salmonella typhimurium.


Evidence for transient localization of newly synthesized lipopolysaccharide at the periplasmic face of the inner membrane has been obtained by immunoelectron microscopic techniques. Salmonella typhimurium galE mutants in which O-antigen synthesis is dependent on addition of exogenous galactose were employed, and the distribution and fate of pulse-synthesized O antigen was examined by indirect ferritin labeling with anti-O-antigen IgG of spheroplasts prepared by treatment with lysozyme/EDTA. O-reactive lipopolysaccharide appeared rapidly at the exposed periplasmic face of the inner membrane after addition of galactose and was rapidly depleted upon termination of the pulse. Control experiments showed that secondary redistribution of lipopolysaccharide from outer membrane did not occur under the conditions employed for spheroplast formation and immunolabeling, and the pulse-chase kinetics were consistent with those expected for an intermediate in translocation of lipopolysaccharide to the outer membrane. In addition, undecaprenol-linked O antigen was detectable at the periplasmic face of the inner membrane within 30 sec after addition of galactose to a galE deep rough double mutant, and it accumulated stably in that location. The mutation in synthesis of the lipopolysaccharide core in the deep rough strain prevents transfer of O-antigen chains from undecaprenol phosphate to lipopolysaccharide. The result suggests that attachment of O antigen to lipopolysaccharide occurs on the extracytoplasmic side of the inner membrane and supports the conclusion that lipopolysaccharide is translocated to the outer membrane from the periplasmic, rather than the cytoplasmic, face of the inner membrane.

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