Summary: The incorporation of rhamnose and glucose into the core part of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of was studied using enzyme preparations from strain PAC1R and LPS-defective mutants derived from it. Crude membrane preparations from the LPS-defective mutant PAC556 transferred rhamnose from dTDP--[C]rhamnose to material insoluble in trichloroacetic acid. The preparations contained both transferase enzyme and acceptor, the former being destroyed by heating. Between 60 and 70% of the radioactive rhamnose transferred to the membranes was extractable by aqueous phenol and non-diffusible. The material extracted did not move in any of the chromatography solvents tested and contained rhamnose as the sole radioactive component. Soluble dTDP--rhamnose–LPS rhamnosyltransferase was obtained from the parent strain PAC1R by ammonium sulphate precipitation of a 105000 supernatant fraction from broken bacteria. It was most active at pH 8 with 5 mM-MgCl and required heat-treated membranes of PAC556 as acceptor. This mutant, whose LPS lacks both O-antigenic side-chains and rhamnose in the core, was shown to lack either the epimerase or the NADP-dependent oxidoreductase used to synthesize dTDPrhamnose. After preincubation with soluble transferase and UDPglucose, heated membranes of mutant strains PAC611, PAC612 and PAC605 could also act as acceptors for rhamnose. These mutants all lacked some or all of the glucose as well as the rhamnose from the core of their LPS and the experiments thus provided confirmation that rhamnose was the terminal hexose of the core in PAC1.


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