We previously reported the analysis of recombinant plasmids from Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) that lead to modifications of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (Y. Abu Kwalk, R. E. McLaughlin, M. A. Apicella, and S. M. Spinola, Mol. Microbiol. 5:2475-2480, 1991). The modified LPS species are recognized by monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) 6E4 and 3F11. MAb 6E4 binds to a stable 2-keto-3-deoxyoctulosonic acid epitope, while MAb 3F11 binds to a Galβ1-4GlcNac epitope that phase varies in Hib at a frequency of 2 to 5%. The internal EcoRI fragment containing most of the DNA required for LPS modification in E. coli was used as the target for transposon mutagenesis. Plasmids containing minitransposon m-Tn3(Cm) randomly inserted into the target fragment were transformed into the isogenic Hib strain, and transposon integration into the Hib chromosome was verified by colony hybridization. The lipooligosaccharides of 36 transformants were phenotypically and antigenically characterized by sodium dodecyl sulfate- polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and reactivity with a variety of MAbs that recognize both stable and phase-varying lipooligosaccharide epitopes. The majority of the mutants had altered reactivity with MAb 6E4. With one exception, these mutants retained the ability to express phase-varying epitopes. Analysis of the transformants suggested that the 6E4 epitope was contained on an oligosaccharide chain separate from that of phase-varying epitopes and appeared to be assembled in at least three separate steps.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology