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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1989 Apr;270(1):391-7.

Escherichia coli K99 binds to N-glycolylsialoparagloboside and N-glycolyl-GM3 found in piglet small intestine.

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Laboratory of Structural Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Escherichia coli K12, which possess the K99 plasmid and synthesize K99 fimbriae (E. coli K99), cause severe neonatal diarrhea in piglets, calves, and lambs but not in humans. The organism binds specifically and with high affinity to only two glycolipids in piglet intestinal mucosa as demonstrated by overlaying glycolipid chromatograms with 125I-labeled bacteria. These glycolipids, which are N-glycolyl-GM3 (NeuGc alpha 2-3Gal beta 1-4Glc beta 1-1Cer) and N-glycolylsialoparagloboside (NeuGc alpha 2-3Gal beta 1-4GlcNAc beta 1-3Gal beta 1-4Glc beta 1-1Cer), occur at about 13 and 0.3 micrograms per gram wet weight of mucosa, respectively. E. coli K99 grown at 18 degrees C, a temperature at which the K99 fimbriae are not expressed, do not bind to these glycolipids. Of the standard glycolipids tested in solid phase binding assays, E. coli K99 binds with highest affinity to N-glycolylsialoparagloboside, with less affinity to N-glycolyl-GM3, and with very low affinity to N-acetylsialoparagloboside. The bacteria do not bind to GM3 (NeuAc alpha 2-3Gal beta 1-4Glc beta 1-1Cer), GM2 (GalNAc beta 1-4[Neu-Ac alpha 2-3]Gal beta 1-4Glc beta 1-1Cer), GM1 (Gal beta 1-3GalNAc beta 1-4[NeuAc alpha 2-3]Gal beta 1-4Glc beta 1-1Cer), or several other N-acetylsialic acid-containing gangliosides and neutral glycolipids at the levels tested. N-Glycolylsialyl residues are found in the glycoproteins and glycolipids of piglets, calves, and lambs but not in the glycoproteins and glycolipids of humans. Possibly this distribution of sialyl derivatives explains the host range of infection by the organism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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