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Carbohydr Res. 1987 Sep 1;166(2):299-308.

Demonstration that the galactosyl and arabinosyl residues in the cell-wall arabinogalactan of Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis are furanoid.

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


By a complex process involving methylation, partial hydrolysis with acid, reduction with sodium borodeuteride, ethylation, further hydrolysis and reduction, and subsequent capillary gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry of the derived alditol acetates, it was established that the arabinogalactans of Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis contain arabinofuranyosyl and galactofuranosyl residues exclusively. Thus, the covalently bound, highly immunogenic arabinogalactan of mycobacteria, and presumably of other actinomycetes, is highly unusual, in that all of the glycosyl residues are in the furanoid form. Furthermore, by establishing that the galactofuranosyl residues are either 5-, 6-, or 5,6-linked, their linkage pattern was established, and the literature is corrected on this point.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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