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Carbohydr Res. 2005 Jul 4;340(9):1625-30.

Cold temperature-induced modifications to the composition and structure of the lipopolysaccharide of Yersinia pestis.

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N. D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119991, Russia.


Following a report of variations in the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) structure of Yersinia pestis at mammalian (37 degrees C) and flea (25 degrees C) temperatures, a number of changes to the LPS structure were observed when the bacterium was cultivated at a temperature of winter-hibernating rodents (6 degrees C). In addition to one of the known Y. pestis LPS types, LPS of a new type was isolated from Y. pestis KM218 grown at 6 degrees C. The core of the latter differs in: (i) replacement of terminal galactose with terminal d-glycero-d-manno-heptose; (ii) phosphorylation of terminal oct-2-ulosonic acid with phosphoethanolamine; (iii) a lower content of GlcNAc, and; (iv) the absence of glycine; lipid A differs in the lack of any 4-amino-4-deoxyarabinose and presumably partial (di)oxygenation of a fatty acid(s). The data obtained suggest that cold temperature switches on an alternative mechanism of control of the synthesis of Y. pestis LPS.

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