Lipopolysaccharides are structural components of the outer membrane of Gram‐negative bacteria. They are important antigens and exhibit versatile biological (endotoxic) activities through stimulation of mammalian cells to produce active mediators.

Keywords: lipopolysaccharide; Gram‐negative bacteria; lipid A; endotoxin

Figure 1.

The cell envelope of a Gram‐negative bacterium.

Figure 2.

Schematic structure of a Salmonella enterica LPS.

Figure 3.

Chemical structure of Escherichia coli lipid A.

Figure 4.

The lipid A biosynthesis pathway.

Figure 5.

Recognition of LPS/lipid A by the LBP/CD14 system triggering macrophage‐derived bioactive mediators and the action of mediators. LBP, LPS‐binding protein; IFN, interferon.


Further Reading

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Greisman SE and Johnston CA (1997) Evidence against the hypothesis that antibodies to the inner core of lipopolysaccharides in antisera raised by immunization with enterobacterial deep‐rough mutants confer broad spectrum protection during Gram‐negative bacterial sepsis. Journal of Endotoxicological Research 4: 123–153.

Holst O and Brade H (1992) Chemical structure of the core region of lipopolysaccharides. In: Morrison DC and Ryan JL (eds) Bacterial Endotoxic Lipopolysaccharides, vol. I, Molecular Biochemistry and Cellular Biology, pp. 135–170. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Kusumoto S (1992) Chemical synthesis of lipid A. In: Morrison DC and Ryan JL (eds) Bacterial Endotoxic Lipopolysaccharides, vol. I, Molecular Biochemistry and Cellular Biology, pp. 81–106. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Lüderitz O, Freudenberg MA, Galanos C et al. (1982) Lipopolysaccharides of Gram‐negative bacteria. Current Topics in Membranes and Transport, 17: 79–151.

Lynn WA and Golenbock DT (1992) Lipopolysaccharide antagonists. Immunology Today 13: 271–276.

Mamat U, Seydel U, Grimmecke HD and Rietschel ETh (1999) Lipopolysaccharides. In: Pinto BM (ed) Comprehensive Natural Products Chemistry, vol. 3, Carbohydrates and their Derivatives including Tannins, Cellulose and Related Lignins. Oxford: Pergamon Press. (In press.)

Morrison DC and Ryan JL (1979) Bacterial endotoxins and host immune responses. Advances in Immunology 28: 293–450.

Reitschel ETh and Brade H (1992) Bacterial endotoxins. Scientific American 267: 26–33.

Rietschel ETh, Brade H, Holst O et al. (1996) Bacterial endotoxin: chemical constitution, biological recognition, host response and immunological detoxification. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology 216: 39–81.

Ulevitch RJ and Tobias PS (1994) Recognition of endotoxin by cells leading to transmembrane signalling. Current Opinion in Immunology 6: 125–130.

Wright SD (1991) Multiple receptors for endotoxin. Current Opinion in Immunology 3: 83–90.

Zähringer U, Lindner B and Rietschel ETh (1994) Molecular structure of lipid A, the endotoxic center of bacterial lipopolysaccharide. Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry 50: 211–276.

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Helander, Ilkka M, Mamat, Uwe, and Rietschel, Ernst Th.(Apr 2001) Lipopolysaccharides. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000703]