Journal of bacteriology

Gliding Motility of Mycoplasma mobile on Uniform Oligosaccharides.

PMID 26148712


The binding and gliding of Mycoplasma mobile on a plastic plate covered by 53 uniform oligosaccharides were analyzed. Mycoplasmas bound to and glided on only 21 of the fixed sialylated oligosaccharides (SOs), showing that sialic acid is essential as the binding target. The affinities were mostly consistent with our previous results on the inhibitory effects of free SOs and suggested that M. mobile recognizes SOs from the nonreducing end with four continuous sites as follows. (i and ii) A sialic acid at the nonreducing end is tightly recognized by tandemly connected two sites. (iii) The third site is recognized by a loose groove that may be affected by branches. (iv) The fourth site is recognized by a large groove that may be enhanced by branches, especially those with a negative charge. The cells glided on uniform SOs in manners apparently similar to those of the gliding on mixed SOs. The gliding speed was related inversely to the mycoplasma's affinity for SO, suggesting that the detaching step may be one of the speed determinants. The cells glided faster and with smaller fluctuations on the uniform SOs than on the mixtures, suggesting that the drag caused by the variation in SOs influences gliding behaviors. Mycoplasma is a group of bacteria generally parasitic to animals and plants. Some Mycoplasma species form a protrusion at a pole, bind to solid surfaces, and glide in the direction of the protrusion. These procedures are essential for parasitism. Usually, mycoplasmas glide on mixed sialylated oligosaccharides (SOs) derived from glycoprotein and glycolipid. Since gliding motility on uniform oligosaccharides has never been observed, this study gives critical information about recognition and interaction between receptors and SOs.