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Carbohydr Res. 2013 Sep 20;379:7-12. doi: 10.1016/j.carres.2013.05.020. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

Structural studies of the cell wall polysaccharides from three strains of Lactobacillus helveticus with different autolytic properties: DPC4571, BROI, and LH1.

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National Research Council, Ottawa, Canada.


Lactobacillus helveticus is traditionally used in dairy industry as a starter or an adjunct culture for manufacture of cheese and some types of fermented milk. Its autolysis releases intracellular enzymes which is a prerequisite for optimum cheese maturation, and is known to be strain dependent. Autolysis is caused by an enzymatic hydrolysis of the cell wall peptidoglycan (PG) by endogenous peptidoglycan hydrolases (PGHs) or autolysins. Origins of differences in autolytic properties of different strains are not fully elucidated. Regulation of autolysis possibly depends on the structure of the cell wall components other than PG, particularly polysaccharides. In the present work, we screened six L. helveticus strains with different autolytic properties: DPC4571, BROI and LH1. We established, for the first time, that cell walls (CWs) of these strains contained polysaccharides, different from their CW teichoic acids. Cell wall polysaccharides of three strains were purified, and their chemical structures were established by 2D NMR spectroscopy and methylation analysis. The structures of their repeating units are presented.


Autolytic properties; Cell-wall polysaccharide; Lactobacillus helveticus; Structure

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