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Mol Microbiol. 1991 Oct;5(10):2475-80.

Analysis of Haemophilus influenzae type b lipooligosaccharide-synthesis genes that assemble or expose a 2-keto-3-deoxyoctulosonic acid epitope.

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Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, State University of New York, Buffalo 14215.


We recently isolated a recombinant phage from a Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) library that assembles an oligosaccharide with an apparent molecular weight of 1400 (1.4 K) on a 4.1 K Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) structure, producing a 5.5 K LPS species that contains a KDO (2-keto-deoxyoctulosonic acid) epitope. Subcloning and deletional analysis of the 14 kb Haemophilus insert showed that three overlapping restriction fragments contained within a 7.2 kb Pstl-BamHl fragment sequentially modified an E. coli 4.1 K LPS structure, generating novel species of 4.5 K, 5.1 K and 5.5 K. Only the 5.5 K species contained the KDO epitope. We confirmed the relationship between the cloned genes and Hib lipooligosaccharide (LOS) biosynthesis by constructing a mutant that expressed an altered LOS. Thus, the Hib 7.2 kb Pstl-BamHl restriction fragment contained a cluster of at least three genetic loci whose products acted sequentially in LOS biosynthesis.

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