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Biochemistry. 1996 Jun 18;35(24):7781-6.

Identification of S-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)cystein in a macrophage-activating lipopeptide from Mycoplasma fermentans.

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GBF, Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH, Braunschweig, Germany.


Mycoplasmas are capable of stimulating monocytes and macrophages to release cytokines, prostaglandins, and nitric oxide. The aim of this study was to characterize the chemical nature of the previously isolated [Mühlradt, P. F., & Frisch, M. (1994) Infect. Immun. 62, 3801-3807] macrophage-stimulating material "MDHM" from Mycoplasma fermentans. Mycoplasmas were delipidated, and MDHM activity was extracted with octyl glucoside and further purified by reversed-phase HPLC. Macrophage-stimulating activity was monitored by nitric oxide release from peritoneal macrophages from C3H/HeJ endotoxin low responder mice. HPLC-purified MDHM was rechromatographed on an analytic scale RP 18 column before and after proteinase K treatment. Proteinase treatment did not diminish biological activity but shifted MDHM elution toward higher lipophilicity, suggesting that the macrophage-stimulating activity might reside in the lipopeptide moiety of a lipoprotein. Proteinase K-treated MDHM was hydrolyzed, amino groups were dansylated, and the dansylated material was isolated by HPLC. Dansylated S-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)cystein (glycerylcystein thioether), typical for Braun's murein lipoprotein, and Dns-Gly and Dns-Thr were identified by tandem mass spectrometry. These amino acids were isolated from biologically active but not from the neighboring inactive HPLC fractions. IR spectra from proteinase K-treated, HPLC-purified MDHM and those from the synthetic lipopeptide [2,3-bis(palmitoyloxy)-(2-RS)-propyl]-N-palmitoyl-(R)-CysSerSer AsnAla were very similar. The data, taken together, indicate that lipoproteins of a nature previously detected in eubacteria are expressed in M. fermentans and that at least one of these lipoproteins and a lipopeptide derived from it constitute the macrophage-activating principle MDHM from these mycoplasmas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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