Caister Academic Press

Genetics and Regulation of Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide Synthesis

Mikael Skurnik and José Antonio Bengoechea
from: Bacterial Polysaccharides: Current Innovations and Future Trends (Edited by: Matthias Ullrich). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the major component of the outer leaflet of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. The LPS molecule is composed of two biosynthetic entities: the lipid A - core and the O-polysaccharide (O-antigen). Most biological effects of LPS are due to the lipid A part, however, there is an increasing body of evidence indicating that O-antigen (O-ag) plays an important role in effective colonization of host tissues, resistance to complement-mediated killing and in the resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides that are key elements of the innate immune system. Recently, data has started to accumulate on the intricacies in the genetic regulation of the structural components of this molecule and this is highly relevant to the biological function of the molecule. In this review we discuss the regulation, mainly using Yersiniae as model organisms but also discussing other bacteria where relevant read more ...
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