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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Jul;85(13):4902-6.

Identification of carbohydrate structures that are possible receptors for Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Goteborg, Sweden.


Different strains and isogenic variants of Neisseria gonorrhoeae were assayed for their ability to bind glycolipids extracted from various sources. Among a large number of reference glycolipids, binding was observed only to lactosylceramide [Gal(beta 1-4)Glc(beta 1-1)Cer], isoglobotriaosylceramide [Gal(alpha 1-3)Gal(beta 1-4)Glc(beta 1-1)Cer], gangliotriaosylceramide [GalNAc(beta 1-4)Gal(beta 1-4)Glc(beta 1-1)Cer], and gangliotetraosylceramide [Gal(beta 1-3)GalNAc(beta 1-4)Gal(beta 1-4)Glc(beta 1-1)Cer]. The latter two glycolipids bound gonococci with the highest affinity. Lactosylceramide and gangliotriaosylceramide were found in glycolipid preparations from ME180 cells, an epithelial cell line derived from a human cervical carcinoma, and thus are possible receptors for gonococci. The gonococcal surface component that bound the above glycolipids is a protein distinct from pilin and protein II.

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