Cloning and expression in Escherichia coli of a Haemophilus influenzae type b lipooligosaccharide synthesis gene(s) that encodes a 2-keto-3-deoxyoctulosonic acid epitope

S. M. Spinola, Y. A. Kwaik, A. J. Lesse, A. A. Campagnari, M. A. Apicella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


The composition of lipooligosaccharide (LOS) can modify the virulence of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). A genomic library of Hib strain A2 was constructed in the lambda bacteriophage EMBL3. Twenty-six phage clones expressed a Hib LOS oligosaccharide epitope in Escherichia coli that was detected by the monoclonal antibody (MAb) 6E4. None of the clones bound a polyclonal sera specific for Hib A2 LOS or an anti-H. influenzae lipid A MAb. One clone, designated EMBLOS-1, assembled an oligosaccharide with an apparent molecular weight of 1,400 (the 1.4K oligosaccharide) on a 4.1K lipopolysaccharide (LPS) species in E. coli LE392 and produced a novel 5.5K LPS that bound 6E4. Binding of 6E4 to the 5.5K EMBLOS-1 LPS band was abolished by treatment with sodium metaperiodate but was not affected by digestion with proteinase K, confirming the carbohydrate nature of the epitope. The EMBLOS-1 Haemophilus insert hybridized to similar restriction fragments in type b and nontypeable strains regardless of whether they expressed the 6E4 epitope. The 6E4 epitope did not undergo phase variation in Hib strain A2 at a frequency of > 10-3. The oligosaccharide of the Salmonella minnesota Re mutant and 2-keto-3-deoxyoctulosonic acid (KDO) inhibited binding of 6E4 to Hib A2 LOS. We conclude that a gene(s) encoding an enzyme(s) that assembles a stable Hib LOS epitope containing KDO is conserved in H. influenzae and that the cloned Hib LOS synthesis gene products assemble a Hib LOS epitope on an E. coli K-12 LPS core.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1558-1564
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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