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J Bacteriol. 1992 Feb;174(4):1324-32.

Serological diversity and chemical structures of Campylobacter jejuni low-molecular-weight lipopolysaccharides.

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Department of Chemistry, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Low-Mr lipopolysaccharides (LPS) of Campylobacter jejuni reference strains for serotypes O:1, O:4, O:23, and O:36 were examined through the liberation of core oligosaccharides by mild acid cleavage of the ketosidic linkage of 3-deoxy-D-manno-2-octulosonic acid residues to the lipid A moiety. The liberated oligosaccharides were examined for chemical structure by compositional analysis and methylated linkage analysis in conjunction with fast atom bombardment-mass spectrometry of permethylated oligosaccharide derivatives. The results showed (i) that the LPS contained short oligosaccharide chains of branched nonrepetitive structure, to many of which N-acetylneuraminic acid residues remained attached by 2----3 linkages to 4-linked D-galactose residues in the core structure; (ii) that serotypical differences, which are not readily defined through qualitatively similar compositions, are clearly reflected in variations in linkage types and sequences of sugar residues in the outer core attached to an inner region of invariable structure; but (iii) that the presence or absence of NeuAc residues does not appear to be a basis for serotypical differences. The results also showed that oligosaccharide chains from LPS of serotypes O:1 and O:4 are distinctly different and are distinct again from those of the cross-reacting serotypes O:23 and O:36, between whose core oligosaccharide chains no differences were found. It is concluded that the structurally variable low-Mr LPS from C. jejuni show greater similarities to the lipooligosaccharides from Neisseria spp. than to the highly conserved core regions of Salmonella species. Those strains (serotypes O:23 and O:36) which also furnish high-Mr LPS are unique among gram-negative bacteria in possessing both low-Mr molecules of the Neisseria lipooligosaccharide type and high-Mr LPS of the Salmonella smooth type.

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