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Biochemistry. 1991 Jan 15;30(2):378-88.

Novel type-specific lipooligosaccharides from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Department of Microbiology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (strain Canetti) is characterized by the presence of two novel glycolipids of the alkali-labile, trehalose-containing lipooligosaccharide class. Their structures were established by permethylation, partial acid hydrolysis, infrared and high-field NMR spectroscopy, and electron-impact and fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry of the native glycolipids and hydrolysis products. The trehalose substituent is unique in that it is methylated at the 6'-position. The structure of the simpler of the two glycolipids is 2-O-Me-alpha-L-Fucp(1----3)-beta-D-Glcp(1----3)-2-O-Me- alpha-L-Rhap(1----3)-2-O-Me-alpha-L- Rhap(1----3)-beta-D-Glcp(1----3)-4-O-Me-alpha-L-Rhap(1----3) -6-O-Me-alpha-D- Glc. Further glycosylation of the octaglycosyl unit of this nonantigenic glycolipid by an incompletely defined N-acyl derivative of a 4-amino-4,6-dideoxy-Galp residue results in the second, highly antigenic nonasaccharide-containing glycolipid. Application of two-dimensional proton correlation spectroscopy demonstrated that the fatty acyl substituents are located on the 2,3,6 and 3,4,6 hydroxyl groups of the terminal glucosyl unit in the proportions of 2:3. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and optical rotation measurement allowed identification of the fatty acyl esters as primarily 2L-, 4L-dimethylhexadecanoate, 2L-,4L-,6L-,8L-tetramethyloctadecanoate, and 2-methyl-3-hydroxyeicosanoate. The relationship of these glycolipids to different morphological forms of M. tuberculosis and to virulence is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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