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Characterization of lipid A profiles from Shigella flexneri variant X lipopolysaccharide

Authors

  • Adriana C. Casabuono,

    1. CIHIDECAR, Departamento de Química Orgánica, Facultad de Cs Exactas y Naturales, (1428) Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellón II, Cdad. Universitaria, Bs. As., Argentina
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  • Claudia A. van der Ploeg,

    1. INPB – Administración Nacional de Laboratorios e Institutos de Salud, Dr. Carlos G. Malbran, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • Andrés D. Rogé,

    1. INPB – Administración Nacional de Laboratorios e Institutos de Salud, Dr. Carlos G. Malbran, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • Susana B. Bruno,

    1. INPB – Administración Nacional de Laboratorios e Institutos de Salud, Dr. Carlos G. Malbran, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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  • Alicia S. Couto

    Corresponding author
    • CIHIDECAR, Departamento de Química Orgánica, Facultad de Cs Exactas y Naturales, (1428) Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellón II, Cdad. Universitaria, Bs. As., Argentina
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A. S. Couto, CIHIDECAR (CONICET) Depto. Química Orgánica, FCEN, UBA, Buenos Aires, CP 1428, Argentina.

E-mail: acouto@qo.fcen.uba.ar

Abstract

RATIONALE

In developing countries, Shigella flexneri (Sf) is the major causative agent of the endemic shigellosis (bacillary dysentery) responsible annually for one million fatalities mostly among infants. Lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) are characteristic components of the outer membrane of the overwhelming majority of Gram-negative bacteria. Since lipid A is essential for the viability of the Gram-negative bacteria, it is subject to extensive chemical studies with new analytical techniques.

METHODS

Lipid A was released by mild acid hydrolysis from the lipopolysaccharide which was obtained via the phenol/water extraction, purified and analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization laser-induced dissociation tandem mass spectrometry (MALDI-LID-MS/MS).

RESULTS

A detailed structural study of the whole lipid A obtained from S. flexneri variant X was carried out for the first time. Thus, we have shown that lipid A is a heterogeneous mixture having different numbers of acylated and phosphoethanolamine groups attached to the diglucosamine backbone. Furthermore, we found in the phenol phase an unusual hepta-acylated lipid A species, although the abundance was very low.

CONCLUSIONS

MALDI-TOF-MS allowed us to unravel the lipid A heterogeneity, which was not previously reported in Sf LPS. It is well known that slight variations of the chemical structure of lipid A may change its biological activity. Thus, the knowledge of the detailed chemical structure represents an essential step for further development of new preventive or therapeutically active compounds. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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