Analytical biochemistry

Polyisobutylmethacrylate modifies glycolipid binding specificity of verotoxin 1 in thin-layer chromatogram overlay procedures.

PMID 1621981


Verotoxins (or Shiga-like toxins) are a family of closely related toxins elaborated by Escherichia coli. At least three toxins have been described, VT1, VT2, and SLTII, in addition to Shiga toxin itself, and all bind to globotriaosyl ceramide, Gb3. Some discrepancies exist in the literature regarding the binding of the toxins to Gb4 as monitored by TLC overlay procedures. These procedures are widely used to investigate the specificity of carbohydrate-binding ligands. Polyisobutylmethacrylate, PIBM, is generally used in TLC overlay procedures to prevent silica loss and orient carbohydrate moieties for the binding of various ligands to glycolipids. We now report that pretreatment of chromatograms with PIBM modifies binding of VT1 to include Gb4 and decreases binding to Gb3 and the P1 glycolipid. We suggest that PIBM can alter the conformation of the glycolipid oligosaccharide, and therefore caution is advised in analysis of ligand binding to glycolipids after treatment with this compound.

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