Anikó Kilár(1*), Ágnes Dörnyei(2), Viktor Sándor(3), Ferenc Kilár(4), Béla Kocsis(5)

(1)  Institute of Bioanalysis, University of Pécs, Szigeti út 12, Pécs, 7624, HUNGARY; Department of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry and Szentágothai Research Centre, University of Pécs, Ifjúság útja 6, Pécs, 7624, HUNGARY
(2)  Department of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry and Szentágothai Research Centre, University of Pécs, Ifjúság útja 6, Pécs, 7624, HUNGARY
(3)  Institute of Bioanalysis, University of Pécs, Szigeti út 12, Pécs, 7624, HUNGARY
(4)  Institute of Bioanalysis, University of Pécs, Szigeti út 12, Pécs, 7624, HUNGARY
(5)  Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Pécs, Szigeti út 12, Pécs, 7624, HUNGARY
(*) Corresponding Author

Phosphoglycolipid Profiling of Bacterial Endotoxins


Abstract



Much interest is at present focused on bacterial endotoxins, also known as lipopolysaccharides (LPS), as they are responsible for the development of clinical symptoms of Gram-negative sepsis which is the leading cause of death in intensive care units. Endotoxicity is associated with the special phosphoglycolipid part of LPS, termed lipid A. Main challenges in the structural elucidation of lipid A arise from its amphiphilic character and inherent heterogeneity. A mass spectrometrybased de novo method combined with reversed-phase liquid chromatography for the detailed structural characterization of complex lipid A mixtures (obtained by mild acid hydrolysis of LPS) from different bacterial sources has been developed. Tandem mass spectrometric measurements were performed with an electrospray-ionisation quadrupole time-of-flight (ESI-Q-TOF) mass spectrometer in both negative- and positive-ionization modes in order to explore fragmentation pathways. It was found that characteristic product ions in the positive-ion mode could be used for the unambiguous assignment of the phosphorylation site, whereas the use of both ionization modes provided consistent and/or complementary information about the fatty acyl distribution between the two glucosamine moieties of lipid A. Since the immunostimulatory (advantageous) vs. proinflammatory (endotoxic) effect of the lipid A is closely related to the fine chemical structure, our relatively simple structural elucidation strategy could offer great potential in the bioanalysis of native lipid A samples and lipid A-based vaccines.

Keywords


lipid A; HPLC; tandem mass spectrometry; positive-ion mode; negative-ion mode

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