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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Lipid on capsular polysaccharides of gram-negative bacteria.

Hydrolysis of the meningococcal group A, B, and C, and Escherichia coli K92 polysaccharides by 60% aqueous hydrofluoric acid liberated various 1,2-diacylglycerols. These were extracted with chloroform, trimethylsilylated, and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Two 1,2-diacylglycerols were the major components isolated. In each polysaccharide, 80 to 90% dipalmitoyl glycerol and 10 to 20% distearoyl glycerol were identified. No monoacylglycerols or mixed diacylglycerols were noted. The presence of the hydrophobic end causes the polysaccharides to aggregate in a micellar form and may be the entity by which the polysaccharide remains attached to the outer membrane of the bacterium giving rise to the structure recognized as a capsule.[1]


  1. Lipid on capsular polysaccharides of gram-negative bacteria. Gotschlich, E.C., Fraser, B.A., Nishimura, O., Robbins, J.B., Liu, T.Y. J. Biol. Chem. (1981) [Pubmed]
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