Acta virologica

Structural features of lipid A of Piscirickettsia salmonis, the etiological agent of the salmonid rickettsial septicemia.

PMID 18197732


The composition and structure of lipid A isolated from the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Piscirickettsia salmonis were investigated by chemical analyses, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS), and electrospray ionization (ESI) combined with the tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Our study revealed moderate compositional and structural heterogeneity of lipid A with respect to the content of phosphate groups and 4-amino-4-deoxy-L-arabinopyranose (Ara4N) residues and with regard to the degree of acylation. It appeared that at least two molecular species were present in lipid A. The major species represented the hexaacyl lipid A consisting of the ss-(1--> 6)-linked D-glucosamine (GlcN) disaccharide backbone carrying two phosphate groups. The first one at the glycosidic hydroxyl group of the reducing GlcN I and the second one at the O-4' position of the non-reducing GlcN II. The primary fatty acids consisted of three 3-hydroxytetradecanoic [C14:0(3-OH)] and one 3-hydroxyhexadecanoic [C16:0(3-OH)] acids. The latter was amide-linked to GlcN I and one C14:0(3-OH) was amide-linked to GlcN II. Two secondary fatty acids were represented by C14:0(3-OH) and were equally distributed between the O-2' and O-3' positions. The phosphate group at O-4' carried a non-stoichiometric substituent Ara4N. The minor lipid A species contained exclusively C14:0(3-OH) with an asymmetric distribution (4+2) at GlcN II and GlcN I, respectively. The P. salmonis lipid A resembles structurally strongly endotoxic enterobacterial lipid A. This could be one of the reasons for the observed high endotoxicity of P. salmonis.

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DL-β-Hydroxypalmitic acid, ≥98%