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Mol Microbiol. 1994 Feb;11(4):715-23.

The pili of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains PAK and PAO bind specifically to the carbohydrate sequence beta GalNAc(1-4)beta Gal found in glycosphingolipids asialo-GM1 and asialo-GM2.

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Synthetic Peptides Inc., University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa employs pili to mediate adherence to epithelial cell surfaces. The pilus adhesin of P. aeruginosa strains PAK and PAO has been shown to bind to the glycolipid asialo-GM1 (Lee et al., 1994--accompanying article). PAK and PAO pili were examined for their abilities to bind to the synthetic beta GalNAc(1-4)beta Gal (a minimal structural carbohydrate receptor sequence of asialo-GM1 and asialo-GM2 proposed by Krivan et al., 1988a) using solid-phase binding assays. Both pili specifically bound to beta GalNAc(1-4)beta Gal. The binding of beta GalNAc(1-4)beta Gal-Biotin to the immobilized PAK and PAO pili was inhibited by corresponding free pili. The receptor binding domain of the PAK pilus resides in the C-terminal disulphide-looped region (residues 128-144) of the pilin structural subunit (Irvin et al., 1989). Biotinylated synthetic peptides corresponding the C-terminal residues 128-144 of P. aeruginosa PAK and PAO pilin molecules were shown to bind to the beta GalNAc(1-4)beta Gal-(bovine serum albumin (BSA)). The binding of biotinylated peptides to beta GalNAc(1-4)beta GAL-BSA was inhibited by PAK pili, Ac-KCTSDQDEQFIPKGCSK-OH (AcPAK(128-144)ox-OH) and Ac-ACKSTQDPMFTPKGCDN-OH (AcPAO(128-144)ox-OH) peptides. (In these peptides Ac denotes N alpha-acetylation of the N-terminus, -OH means a peptide with a free alpha-carboxyl group at the C-terminus and the 'ox' denotes the oxidation of the sulphhydryl groups of Cys-129 and Cys-142.) Both acetylated peptides were also able to inhibit the binding of beta GalNAc(1-4)beta Gal-biotin to the corresponding BSA-Peptide(128-144)ox-OH conjugates.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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