Neisseria gonorrhoeae strain PID2 was isolated from a woman suffering from pelvic inflammatory disease. When LOS expressed by this strain is analyzed on SDS-PAGE gels, at least six different lipooligosaccharide (LOS) components are visualized. We characterized the LOSs made by this strain by exoglycosidase digestion, sugar composition analysis, mass spectrometry, and analysis of the genes needed for its synthesis. DNA sequence analysis showed that the lgt gene cluster in this strain has undergone a rearrangement and that it possesses two copies of lgtA, one copy of lgtB and lgtC, and a hybrid gene containing sequences from lgtB and lgtE. We determined that the hybrid lgtB/E gene retained the lgtE gene function. DNA sequence analysis of the gene organization suggested that an intramolecular recombination between lgtA and lgtD and lgtB and lgtE had occurred via homologous recombination between similar sequences. Our studies demonstrated that fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis can be utilized to rapidly determine the composition of LOS. By combining exoglycosidase digestion, in combination with mass spectrometry analysis and compositional analysis, the data indicate that all of the LOS components produced by PID2 extend off of the α chain. The longest α chain oligosaccharide structure is Gal-GlcNAc-Gal-GlcNAc-Gal-Glc-Heptose I, and the six LOS components are built up by sequentially adding sugars onto the first heptose. PID2 LOS is the first Neisserial LOS to be shown to be devoid of phosphoethanolamine modifications. Because PID2 can surface express its LOS, it indicates that the addition of phosphoethanolamine is not required for LOS surface expression.
- Carbohydrate epitopes
- FACE analysis
- Lipooligosaccharide structure
- Mass spectrometry
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