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Structural analyses of lipid A from lipopolysaccharides of nodulating and non-nodulating Rhizobium trifolii

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Structural studies have been performed on lipid A preparations derived from lipopolysaccharides of nodulating (nod+) Rhizobium trifolii wild type strains and non-nodulating (nod-) mutants deprived of the medium size “Nod” plasmid.

All preparations contain a lipid A backbone composed of a β1,6-linked d-glucosamine disaccharide (GlcN II-β1,6-GlcN I) which is bis-phosphorylated at positions 1 and 4′. The phosphate group at position 4′ (GlcN II) is nonstoichiometrically substituted probably by a neutral glycosyl residue. Another substituent (probably also a neutral sugar) substitutes partly position 4 (GlcN I) of the disaccharide. The hydroxyl groups at positions 3 and 3′ are likely to be esterified by fatty acyl residue. In lipid A of nod+ strains, 3-hydroxyhexa- and octadecanoic acid are linked to the amino group of GlcN I, and 3-hydroxyhexa- and tetradecanoic acid to the amino group of GlcN II. In lipid A of nod- strains, mainly 3-hydroxyhexadecanoic acid is linked to the amino group of GlcN I, and 3-hydroxytetra- and hexadecanoic acid to that of GlcN II.

The results show that rhizobial lipid A expresses many similarities to the lipid A of Enterobacteria. The structure shows, however, also peculiarities, especially regarding substituents of the lipid A backbone.

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Correspondence to Otto Lüderitz.

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This paper is dedicated to Professor Dr. Gerhart Drews on the occasion of his 60th birthday

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Russa, R., Lüderitz, O. & Rietschel, E.T. Structural analyses of lipid A from lipopolysaccharides of nodulating and non-nodulating Rhizobium trifolii . Arch. Microbiol. 141, 284–289 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00428838

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Key words

  • Rhizobium trifolii
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Lipid A-structure
  • “Nod” plasmids
  • 3-Hydroxy fatty acids