The structure of the phase-variable lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from the group B Neisseria meningitidis strain BZ157 galE was elucidated. The structural basis for the LPS's variation in reactivity with a monoclonal antibody (MAb) B5 that has specificity for the presence of phosphoethanolamine (PEtn) at the 3-position of the distal heptose residue (HepII) was established. The structure of the O-deacylated LPS was deduced by a combination of monosaccharide analyses, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. These analyses revealed the presence of a novel inner core oligosaccharide (OS) structure in the MAb B5 reactive (B5+) LPS that contained two PEtn residues simultaneously substituting the 3- and 6-positions of the HepII residue. The determination of this structure has identified a further degree of variability within the inner core OS of meningococcal LPS that could contribute to the interaction of meningococcal strains with their host. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below