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Glycobiology

Glycomimicry: display of the GM3 sugar epitope on Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica sv Typhimurium.


PMID 20574043

Abstract

Oligosaccharides present on the surface of pathogenic bacteria play an important role in their interaction with their host. Bacteria with altered cell surface structures can be used to study these interactions, and glycoengineering represents a tool to display a glycoepitope on a different bacterium. Here, we present non-pathogenic Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium expressing the sialyllactose oligosaccharide epitope of the ganglioside GM3. By expression of the galactosyltransferase LgtE and the sialic acid transferase Lst as well as the CMP-sialic acid synthetase SiaB from Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis in engineered strains devoid of the sialic acid catabolism, the GM3 sugar epitope was displayed on these bacteria as demonstrated by live cell immunostaining and a detailed analysis of their lipooligosaccharides. These strains offer the possibility to investigate the role of sialic acid in the recognition of bacteria by the immune system in a non-pathogenic background.