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Sci Rep 2020 Jul 28;10(1):12608

Chemical structure and genetic organization of the E. coli O6:K15 capsular polysaccharide.

Azurmendi HF, Veeramachineni V, Freese S, Lichaa F, Freedberg DI, Vann WF


Capsular polysaccharides are important virulence factors in pathogenic bacteria. Characterizing the structural components and biosynthetic pathways for these polysaccharides is key to our ability to design vaccines and other preventative therapies that target encapsulated pathogens. Many gram-negative pathogens such as Neisseria meningitidis and Escherichia coli express acidic capsules. The E. coli K15 serotype has been identified as both an enterotoxigenic and uropathogenic pathogen. Despite its relevance as a disease-causing serotype, the associated capsular polysaccharide remains poorly characterized. We describe in this report the chemical structure of the K15 polysaccharide, based on chemical analysis and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data. The repeating structure of the K15 polysaccharide consists of 4)-a-GlcpNAc-(1¿¿¿5)-a-KDOp-(2¿¿¿partially O-acetylated at 3-hydroxyl of GlcNAc. We also report, the organization of the gene cluster responsible for capsule biosynthesis. We identify genes in this cluster that potentially encode an O-acetyltransferase, an N-acetylglucosamine transferase, and a KDO transferase consistent with the structure we report.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #32724125 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-69476-z
PubMed Central ID: #PMC7387560
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2020-08-02