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Eur J Biochem. 1975 Feb 21;51(2):343-52.

Asymmetrical distribution and artifactual reorientation of lipopolysaccharide in the outer membrane bilayer of Salmonella typhimurium.


Labelling of cell walls or outer membranes from Salmonella typhimurium with ferritin-conjugated antibodies directed against the polysaccharide moiety of the lipopolysaccharide gave the following results: 1. Cell walls or outer membranes from which the mucopeptide had been removed by lysozyme digestion at 0 degrees C carried the label on the outer face of the membrane. 2. When the murein layer was removed by either lysozyme or trypsin at physiological temperature (25-37 degrees C) subsequent labelling showed the lipopolysaccharide to be present on both membrane faces. 3. This reorientation could be achieved by a 1-min treatment of the membranes at 37 degrees C. 4. Glutaraldehyde fixation of the outer membranes did not entirely prevent but somewhat inhibited the temperature-induced reorientation process. 5. The same reorientation phenomenon was observed in lysozyme spheroplasts, which were prepared at 37 degrees C and were subsequently lysed in hypotonic medium at 0 degrees C. These observations are discussed as evidence for a transmembrane movement of lipopolysaccharide, which only takes place in areas where the mucopeptide layer is defective, and only when the temperature is sufficiently high to allow such movement.

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