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  • 1 Semmelweis University Institute of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine Budapest Hungary
  • 2 University of Pécs Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine Pécs Hungary
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Binding of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled concanavalin A to a series of molecular species of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), purified from pathogenic bacteria, was studied via agarose gel precipitation experiments and the results were compared with available structural data.The LPS species could be divided into ConA-reactive and non-reactive ones. Reactivity resided in the O-specific chain of LPS, and binding to the lipid A or core moieties of LPS could not be demonstrated by the present methods. The α-D-glucose or α-D-mannose residues of the repeating O-specific oligosaccharide units appeared to be recognized by ConA, except when blocked by steric hindrance. Specificity of the reaction was verified by inhibition with 2% D-glucose. Binding by bacterium-specific sugar-residues could not be demonstrated.For precipitation to occur, polyvalency was required both for LPS and ConA, and the resulting precipitation appeared to be promoted by hydrophobic interactions between the lipid A moieties of LPS molecules. The LPS species were differently retained by the agarose gel, which can be explained by differences in their micellar structure in aqueous solution. E. coli O83 LPS did not readily diffused in 1% agarose gel, but its precipitation with ConA could be demonstrated either at elevated temperature or mixing it previously with molten agarose (Mancini’s arrangement).

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