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Carbohydr Res. 2002 Sep 9;337(16):1435-44.

Structural analysis of the lipopolysaccharide from Neisseria meningitidis strain BZ157 galE: localisation of two phosphoethanolamine residues in the inner core oligosaccharide.

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Institute for Biological Sciences, National Research Council, 100 Sussex Drive, Rm 3089, ON, K1A 0R6, Ottawa, Canada.


The structure of the phase-variable lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from the group B Neisseria meningitidis strain BZ157 galE was elucidated. The structural basis for the LPS's variation in reactivity with a monoclonal antibody (MAb) B5 that has specificity for the presence of phosphoethanolamine (PEtn) at the 3-position of the distal heptose residue (HepII) was established. The structure of the O-deacylated LPS was deduced by a combination of monosaccharide analyses, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. These analyses revealed the presence of a novel inner core oligosaccharide (OS) structure in the MAb B5 reactive (B5+) LPS that contained two PEtn residues simultaneously substituting the 3- and 6-positions of the HepII residue. The determination of this structure has identified a further degree of variability within the inner core OS of meningococcal LPS that could contribute to the interaction of meningococcal strains with their host.

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