A1 Journal article – refereed
Identification of the Lipopolysaccharide Core of Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as the Receptor for Bacteriophage phi A1122

List of Authors: Kiljunen S, Datta N, Dentovskaya SV, Anisimov AP, Knirel YA, Bengoechea JA, Holst O, Skurnik M
Publication year: 2011
Journal: Journal of Bacteriology
Journal name in source: JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY
Journal acronym: J BACTERIOL
Number in series: 18
Volume number: 193
Issue number: 18
Number of pages: 10
ISSN: 0021-9193

phi A1122 is a T7-related bacteriophage infecting most isolates of Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, and used by the CDC in the identification of Y. pestis. phi A1122 infects Y. pestis grown both at 20 degrees C and at 37 degrees C. Wild-type Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strains are also infected but only when grown at 37 degrees C. Since Y. pestis expresses rough lipopolysaccharide (LPS) missing the O-polysaccharide (O-PS) and expression of Y. pseudotuberculosis O-PS is largely suppressed at temperatures above 30 degrees C, it has been assumed that the phage receptor is rough LPS. We present here several lines of evidence to support this. First, a rough derivative of Y. pseudotuberculosis was also phi A1122 sensitive when grown at 22 degrees C. Second, periodate treatment of bacteria, but not proteinase K treatment, inhibited the phage binding. Third, spontaneous phi A1122 receptor mutants of Y. pestis and rough Y. pseudotuberculosis could not be isolated, indicating that the receptor was essential for bacterial growth under the applied experimental conditions. Fourth, heterologous expression of the Yersinia enterocolitica O:3 LPS outer core hexasaccharide in both Y. pestis and rough Y. pseudotuberculosis effectively blocked the phage adsorption. Fifth, a gradual truncation of the core oligosaccharide into the Hep/Glc (L-glycero-D-manno-heptose/D-glucopyranose)-Kdo/Ko (3-deoxy-D-manno-oct-2-ulopyranosonic acid/D-glycero-D-talo-oct-2-ulopyranosonic acid) region in a series of LPS mutants was accompanied by a decrease in phage adsorption, and finally, a waaA mutant expressing only lipid A, i.e., also missing the Kdo/Ko region, was fully phi A1122 resistant. Our data thus conclusively demonstrated that the phi A1122 receptor is the Hep/Glc-Kdo/Ko region of the LPS core, a common structure in Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis.

Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 12:02