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J Bacteriol. 1988 Feb;170(2):512-21.

Heterogeneity of lipopolysaccharides from Pseudomonas aeruginosa: analysis of lipopolysaccharide chain length.

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Department of Biochemistry, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from smooth strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa 503, PAZ1, PAO1715, PAO1716, and Z61 was fractionated by gel filtration chromatography. LPS samples from the first four strains, all PAO1 derivatives, separated into three major size populations, whereas LPS from strain Z61, a Pac K799/WT mutant strain, separated into two size populations. When column fractions were applied to sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels in their order of elution, molecules of decreasing size were resolved, and the ladder of molecules with different-length O antigens formed a diagonal across the gel. The LPS from the PAO1 derivatives contained two distinct sets of bands, distinguished on the gels as two sets of diagonals. The set of bands with the faster mobility, the B bands, was found in column fractions comprising the three major amino sugar-containing peaks. In the sample from strain 503, a fourth minor peak which contained B bands was resolved. The slower-moving set of bands, the A bands, were recovered in a minor peak. LPS from strain Z61 contained only one set of bands, with the higher-molecular-weight molecules eluting from the column in a volume similar to that of the B bands of the PAO1 strains. Analysis of the fractions of LPS from all strains indicated that less than 8% of the LPS molecules had a long, attached O antigen. Analysis of the peak that contained mainly A bands indicated a lack of reactive amino sugar and phosphate, although heptose and 2-keto-3-deoxyoctulosonic acid were detected. Reaction of isolated fractions with monoclonal antibody specific for the PAO1 O-antigen side chain indicated that only the B bands from the PAO1 strains were antigenically reactive. The bands from strain Z61 showed no reactivity. The data suggest that the A and B bands from the PAO1 strains are antigenically distinct. We propose that PAO1 strains synthesize two types of molecules that are antigenically different.

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