Send to

Choose Destination
Infect Immun. 1994 May;62(5):1566-75.

Meningococcal group A lipooligosaccharides (LOS): preliminary structural studies and characterization of serotype-associated and conserved LOS epitopes.

Author information

Centre for Immunochemistry, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


Structural studies indicate that the neisserial lipooligosaccharides (LOS) are composed of an oligosaccharide (OS) portion with a phosphorylated diheptose (Hep) core attached to the toxic lipid A moiety. A conserved meningococcal LOS epitope, defined by monoclonal antibody (MAb) D6A, is expressed on group A and many group B and C meningococci of different LOS serotypes (J. J. Kim, R. E. Mandrell, H. Zhen, M. A. Apicella, J. T. Poolman, and J. M. Griffiss, Infect. Immun. 56:2631-2638, 1988). This MAb-defined D6A epitope is immunogenic in humans (M. M. Estabrook, R. E. Mandrell, M. A. Apicella, and J. M. Griffiss, Infect. Immun. 58:2204-2213, 1990; M. M. Estabrook, C. J. Baker, and J. M. Griffiss, J. Infect. Dis. 197:966-970, 1993). In this study, we characterize this important MAb-defined LOS epitope. Serotype L10 and L11 group A meningococal LOS were chemically modified and used to investigate what portion of the LOS molecule is important for expression of the conserved (D6A) epitope and serotype-associated LOS epitopes by use of immunoblotting techniques and selected MAbs as probes. Preliminary structural characterization of the LOS was also accomplished by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry. Our results indicate the following. (i) Antibodies that recognize the serotype-associated or conserved LOS epitopes recognize the OS portion of the LOS. (ii) The phosphorylated diheptose core region of the OS is essential for expression of the conserved D6A epitope. (iii) The lipid portion of the molecule is important for optimum expression of the LOS epitopes. (iv) The proposed compositions of the O-deacylated LOS are consistent with the presence of a phosphorylated diheptose core and are as follows: for O-deacylated L10 LOS, 3Hex (hexose), 1HexNAc (N-acetylhexosamine), 2KDO (2-keto-3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid), 2Hep (heptose), 1PEA or 2PEA (phosphoethanolamine), and O-deacylated lipid A; and for O-deacylated L11 LOS, 2Hex, 1HexNAc, 2KDO, 2Hep, 2PEA, and O-deacylated lipid A. Because the phosphorylated diheptose core region of the LOS is essential for the formation of a conserved LOS epitope (D6A) that is immunogenic in humans, care should be taken to maintain stereochemical requirements for the expression of this conserved epitope in the design of effective, nontoxic LOS vaccines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center