Molecular analysis of lipoteichoic acid from Streptococcus agalactiae

J. J. Maurer, S. J. Mattingly

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22 Scopus citations


A method for the analysis of lipoteichoic acid (LTA) by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) is described. Purified LTA from Streptococcus agalactiae tended to smear in the upper two-thirds of a 30 to 40% linear polyacrylamide gel, while the chemically deacylated form (cdLTA) migrated as a ladder of discrete bands, reminiscent of lipopolysaccharides. The deacylated polymer appeared to separate in this system on the basis of size, as evident from results obtained from PAGE analysis of cdLTA subjected to limited acid hydrolysis and LTA that had been fractionated by gel filtration. A survey of cdLTA from other streptococci revealed similarities in molecular weight ranges. The polymer from Enterococcus hirae was of a higher molecular weight. This procedure was used to examine the effect of penicillin and chloroamphenicol on the synthesis, turnover, and heterogeneity of LTA in S. agalactiae. Penicillin appeared to enhance LTA synthesis while causing the release of this polymer into the supernatant fluid. In contrast, chloramphenicol inhibited the synthesis of this molecule and resulted in its depletion from the cell surface. Penicillin did not alter the heterogeneity of this polymer, but chloramphenicol caused an apparent shift to a lower-molecular-weight form of the LTA, as determined by PAGE. This shift in the heterogeneity of LTA did not appear to be due to increased carbohydrate substitution, since chloramphenicol did not alter the electrophoretic migration profile of LTA from E. hirae. From a pulse-chase study, it was determined that LTA was released as a consequence of deacylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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