Explaining the serological characteristics of streptococcus suis serotypes 1 and 1/2 from their capsular polysaccharide structure and biosynthesis.

Van Calsteren, M.-R., Goyette-Desjardins, G., Gagnon, F., Okura, M., Takamatsu, D., Roy, R., Gottschalk, M., and Segura, M. (2016). "Explaining the serological characteristics of streptococcus suis serotypes 1 and 1/2 from their capsular polysaccharide structure and biosynthesis.", Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(16), pp. 8387-8398. doi : 10.1074/jbc.M115.700716  Access to full text

Abstract

The capsular polysaccharide (CPS) is a major virulence factor in many encapsulated pathogens, as it is the case for Streptococcus suis, an important swine pathogen and emerging zoonotic agent. Moreover, the CPS is the antigen at the origin of S. suis classification into serotypes. Hence, analyses of the CPS structure are an essential step to dissect its role in virulence and the serological relations between important serotypes. Here, the CPSs of serotypes 1 and 1/2 were purified and characterized for the first time. Chemical and spectroscopic data gave the following repeating unit sequences: [6)[Neu5Ac(α2–6)GalNAc(β1–4)GlcNAc(β1–3)]Gal(β1–3)Gal(β1–4)Glc(β1–]n (serotype 1) and [4)[Neu5Ac(α2–6)GalNAc(β1–4)GlcNAc(β1–3)]Gal(β1–4)[Gal(α1–3)]Rha(β1–4)Glc(β1–]n (serotype 1/2). The Sambucus nigra lectin, which recognizes the Neu5Ac(α2–6)Gal/GalNAc sequence, showed binding to both CPSs. Compared with previously characterized serotype 14 and 2 CPSs, N-acetylgalactosamine replaces galactose as the sugar bearing the sialic acid residue in the side chain. Serological analyses of the cross-reaction of serotype 1/2 with serotypes 1 and 2 and that between serotypes 1 and 14 suggested that the side chain, and more particularly the terminal sialic acid, constitutes one important epitope for serotypes 1/2 and 2. The side chain is also an important serological determinant for serotype 1, yet sialic acid seems to play a limited role. In contrast, the side chain does not seem to be part of a major epitope for serotype 14. These results contribute to the understanding of the relationship between S. suis serotypes and provide the basis for improving diagnostic tools.

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