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Eur J Biochem. 2001 Sep;268(17):4698-707.

Structural analysis of the polysaccharide from the lipopolysaccharide of Porphyromonas gingivalis strain W50.

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MRC Molecular Pathogenesis Group, Department of Medical Microbiology, St. Bartholomew's and The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary College, London, UK.


The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Porphyromonas gingivalis is an important pro-inflammatory molecule in periodontal disease and a significant target of the host's specific immune response. In addition, we recently demonstrated using monoclonal antibodies that the Arg-gingipains of P. gingivalis are post-translationally modified with glycan chains that are immunologically related to an LPS preparation from this organism. In the present investigation, we determined the structure of the O-polysaccharide of P. gingivalis W50 that was fully characterized on the basis of 1D and 2D NMR (DQF-COSY, TOCSY, NOESY, ROESY, 1H-13C HSQC and 1H-31P HXTOCSY) and GC-MS data. These data allowed us to conclude that the O-polysaccharide is built up of the tetrasaccharide repeating sequence: -->6)-alpha-D-Glcp-(1-->4)-alpha-L-Rhap-(1-->3)-beta-D-GalNAc-(1-->3)-alpha-D-Galp-(1--> and carries a monophosphoethanolamine residue at position C-2 of the alpha-rhamnose residue in a nonstoichiometric (approximately 60%) amount. These data indicate that the O-polysaccharide of P. gingivalis LPS is composed of an unusually modified tetrasaccharide repeating unit.

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