Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
The outer cell surface of Enterobacteriaceae, i.e. the cell wall, consist of a rigid structure (murein) on which additional proteins, lipids, and polysaccharides are deposited. In the bacterial wild types (S forms) the polysaccharide is species-specific and carries the serologically determinant groups of the respective O antigen. These specific polysaccharides often consist of a large number of monosaccharides; up to eight different monosaccharides may be involved. Bound to lipid A, the cell-wall lipopolysaccharides represent the endotoxins of the bacteria. During the past few years the structures of the enterobacterial cell-wall polysaccharides have been elucidated by chemical, immunochemical, biochemical, and genetic investigations, particularly in the Salmonella. Here the polysaccharides consists of a basal polysaccharide common to all species, to which (in the S form) are bound longer species-specific side chains, consisting of repeating oligosachharide units. Spontaneous S → R mutation leads to R forms which are deficient mutants of the wild types in regard to the biosynthesis of the complete cell-wall polysaccharide. In contrast to the multiplicity of the serological specificities of the somatic antigens of the S forms, only a few serological types were found among the R forms (R I, R II, etc.). These R polysaccharides correspond to intermediates in the biosynthesis of the wile-type polysaccharides. The S → R mutation leads to the loss (or block) of an enzymes (transferase, synthetase) participating in the synthesis of the S polysaccharides. Recently many deficient mutants have been isolated and analysed, and in this way numerous stages in the biosynthesis of the cell-wall polysaccharides, for example, of Salmonella minnesota, have been made accessible to direct analysis. According to these investigations, the cell-wall polysaccharides of Salmonella consist of a basic polyheptose phosphate core which is bound to lipid A via ketodeoxyoctonic acid. To the basic core are linked pentasaccharide units of (R II structure). All other R forms are structurally deficient mutants of R II. In the complete polysaccharides of Salmonella S forms (wild types), the repeating oligosaccharide units of the specific side, chain are bound to the terminal N-acetylglucosamine of the R II structure.
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