Answer to Question #205409 in Biochemistry for mbali

Question #205409

Discuss the role of O antigens in bacterial pathogenicity and host immune responses

Expert's answer

The O-antigen part of the LPS also is a complex polysaccharide and is synthesized in the cytoplasmic membrane in two stages.


The repeating sugar units are assembled on the lipid carrier (bactoprenol-P) by stepwise addition of each sugar.


The repeating sugar units are polymerized with the release of one bactoprenol-P for each repeated unit added to the growing chain. This polymerization is thought to occur on the outer face of the cytoplasmic membrane.


This same lipid carrier, bactoprenol-P, is used to synthesize peptidoglycan, LPS, teichoic acids, and capsular polysaccharides. The antibiotic bacitracin forms a complex with bactoprenol-PP and prevents its dephosphorylation, thereby preventing its role as a carrier.

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