Biosynthesis and structure of the Burkholderia cenocepacia K56-2 lipopolysaccharide core oligosaccharide: truncation of the core oligosaccharide leads to increased binding and sensitivity to polymyxin B

Ximena Ortega, Alba Silipo, M Soledad Saldías, Christa C Bates, Antonio Molinaro, Miguel A Valvano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic pathogen that displays a remarkably high resistance to antimicrobial peptides. We hypothesize that high resistance to antimicrobial peptides in these bacteria is because of the barrier properties of the outer membrane. Here we report the identification of genes for the biosynthesis of the core oligosaccharide (OS) moiety of the B. cenocepacia lipopolysaccharide. We constructed a panel of isogenic mutants with truncated core OS that facilitated functional gene assignments and the elucidation of the core OS structure in the prototypic strain K56-2. The core OS structure consists of three heptoses in the inner core region, 3-deoxy-d-manno-octulosonic acid, d-glycero-d-talo-octulosonic acid, and 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose linked to d-glycero-d-talo-octulosonic acid. Also, glucose is linked to heptose I, whereas heptose II carries a second glucose and a terminal heptose, which is the site of attachment of the O antigen. We established that the level of core truncation in the mutants was proportional to their increased in vitro sensitivity to polymyxin B (PmB). Binding assays using fluorescent 5-dimethylaminonaphthalene-1-sulfonyl-labeled PmB demonstrated a correlation between sensitivity and increased binding of PmB to intact cells. Also, the mutant producing a heptoseless core OS did not survive in macrophages as compared with the parental K56-2 strain. Together, our results demonstrate that a complete core OS is required for full PmB resistance in B. cenocepacia and that resistance is due, at least in part, to the ability of B. cenocepacia to prevent binding of the peptide to the bacterial cell envelope.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21738-51
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume284
Issue number32
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07 Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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