Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 1991 May 25;266(15):9652-60.

Structural features of the arabinan component of the lipoarabinomannan of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Author information

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


The recent availability of pure lipoarabinomannan (LAM) from Mycobacterium spp. has resulted in its implication in host-parasite interaction, which events may be mediated by the presence of a phosphatidylinositol unit at the reducing end of LAM. Herein we address the structure of the antigenic, nonreducing end of the molecule. Through the process of 13C NMR analysis of the whole molecule and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry of alditol acetates derived from the differential per-O-alkylated lipopolysaccharide, the majority of the arabinosyl residues were recognized as furanosides. Second, through analysis of per-O-alkylated oligoarabinosyl arabinitol fragments of partially hydrolyzed LAM, it was established that the internal segments of the arabinan component consists of branched 3,5-linked alpha-D-arabinofuranosyl (Araf) units with stretches of linear 5-linked alpha-D-Araf residues attached at both branch positions, whereas the nonreducing terminal segments of LAM consist of either of the two arrangements, beta-D-Araf-(1----2)-alpha-D-Araf-(1----5)- alpha-D-Araf---- or [beta-D-Araf-(1----2)-alpha-D-Araf-(1----]2---- (3 and 5)-alpha-D-Araf----. Since this latter arrangement also characterizes the terminal segments of the peptidoglycan-bound arabinogalactan of Mycobacterium spp., we propose that mycobacteria elaborate unique terminal arabinan motifs in two distinct settings. In the case of the bound arabinogalactan, these motifs provide the nucleus for the esterified mycolic acids, entities which dominate the physicochemical features of mycobacteria and their peculiar pathogenesis. In the case of LAM, these motifs, non-mycolylated, are the dominant B-cell antigens responsible for the majority of the copious antibody response evident in most mycobacterial infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center