The Structure Of Lipid A Essay

633 words - 3 pages

Lipid A is considered as the hydrophobic lipid moiety of the LPS molecule. Lipid A is basically phosphorylated glucosamine disaccharide with many fatty acids attached to it. This portion of the LPS is responsible for its endotoxic activity (Rietschel et al., 1982). Lipid A is the agent capable of inducing various endotoxic reactions such as fever, Shwartzman reaction, activation of immune cells, lethal toxicity etc (Galanos et al 1985; Rietschel et al, 1987). Lipid A is embedded in the lipid bilayer of outer membrane and is necessary for a functional membrane barrier function (Wyckoff et al., 1998). Lipid A generally consists of bisphosphorylated β-(1 6) - linked glucosamine disaccharide substituted with fatty acids ester linked at positions 3 and 3׀ and amide linked at positions 2 and 2’ (Zahringer 199). Lipid A adopts an ordered hexagonal arrangement resulting in a more rigid structure compared with the rest of the molecule (Petsch and Anspach., 2000). Bacteria lacking lipid A are not known (Perola et al., 2007). LPS containing a lipid A and Kdo, a unique sugar along with a substituent with negative charge is the smallest known structure necessary for the growth and survival of Gram-negative bacteria (Helander et al., 1988). Most usually the structure of this hydrophobic portion of LPS molecule is fairly well conserved (Galanos et al.,1977). Core region close to lipid A and lipid A itself are partially phosphorylated (pK1 = 1.3, pK 2 = 8.2 of phosphate groups at lipid A), thus LPS molecules exhibit a net negative charge in common protein solutions (Hou and Zaniewski., 1990). Both phosphates can be further substituted with groups such as ethanolamine, ethanolamine phosphate, ethanolamine diphosphate, GlcN, D-arabino-furanose and 4 – amino – 4 – deoxy – L – arabinopyranose thus generating a micro heterogeneity in the lipid A portion (Rietschel et al., 1972). Escherichia lipid A is the most studied one which is hexaacylated glucosamine...

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