Structural relationships between genetically closely related O-antigens of Escherichia coli and Shigella spp.
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Gene clusters for biosynthesis of 24 of 34 basic O-antigen forms of Shigella spp. are identical or similar to those of the genetically closely related bacterium Escherichia coli. For 18 of these relatedness was confirmed chemically by elucidation of the O-antigen (O-polysaccharide) structures. In this work, structures of the six remaining O-antigens of E. coli O32, O53, O79, O105, O183 (all related to S. boydii serotypes), and O38 (related to S. dysenteriae type 8) were established using 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. They were found to be identical to the Shigella counterparts, except for the O32- and O38-polysaccharides, which differ in the presence of O-acetyl groups. The structure of the E. coli O105-related O-polysaccharide of S. boydii type 11 proposed earlier is revised. The contents of the O-antigen gene clusters of the related strains of E. coli and Shigella spp. and different mechanisms of O-antigen diversification in these bacteria are discussed in view of the O-polysaccharide structures established. These data illustrate the value of the O-antigen chemistry and genetics for elucidation of evolutionary relationships of bacteria.
Key wordsEscherichia coli Shigella dysenteriae Shigella boydii O-polysaccharide structure O-antigen gene cluster
glucuronic acid GlcNAc, 2-acetamido-2-deoxyglu-cose
heteronuclear multiple-bond correlation
heteronuclear single-quantum coherence
(R)-1-carboxyethyl (lactic acid ether)
rotating-frame nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy
(R)-1-carboxyethylidene (pyruvic acid acetal)
total correlation spectroscopy
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