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FEBS Lett. 2000 Jan 7;465(1):87-92.

Novel variation of lipid A structures in strains of different Yersinia species.

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Equipe 'Endotoxines', UMR 8619 du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Biochimie, Université de Paris-Sud, F-91405, Orsay, France.


The Yersinia genus includes human and animal pathogens (plague, enterocolitis). The fine structures of the endotoxin lipids A of seven strains of Yersinia enterocolitica, Yersinia ruckeri and Yersinia pestis were determined and compared using mass spectrometry. These lipids differed in secondary acylation at C-2': this was dodecanoic acid (C(12)) for two strains of Y. enterocolitica and Y. ruckeri, tetradecanoic acid (C(14)) in two other Y. enterocolitica and hexadecenoic acid (C(16:1)) in Y. pestis. The enterocolitica lipids having a mass identical to that of Escherichia coli were found to be structurally different. The results supported the idea of a relation between membrane fluidity and environmental adaptability in Yersinia.

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