2Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky pr. 47, 119991 Moscow, Russia; fax: (495) 137-6148; E-mail: email@example.com
3Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Center for Medicine and Biosciences, 23845 Borstel, Germany; fax: (4537) 188-632; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Received July 18, 2007
The endotoxic activity of the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) with defined chemical structure from Yersinia pestis strains of various subspecies differing in their epidemic potential was studied. The LPS of two strains of Y. pestis ssp. caucasica and ssp. altaica, whose structures have not been studied earlier, were analyzed by high-resolution mass spectrometry. In addition to reported structural changes, an increase in the degree of LPS phosphorylation was observed when strain I-2377 (ssp. altaica) was cultivated at an elevated temperature. A high tumor necrosis factor alpha(TNF-alpha)-inducing activity observed for LPS samples from Y. pestis cultures grown at 25°C correlated with an increased degree of lipid A acylation, particularly, with the presence of the hexaacyl form of lipid A, which was absent from the LPS when bacteria were cultivated at 37°C. No correlation was found between the lethal toxicity of the LPS in vivo and its ability to induce TNF-alpha production in vitro.
KEY WORDS: lipopolysaccharide, lipid A, endotoxin, tumor necrosis factor, cytokine-inducing activity, Yersinia pestis