Summary: An ornithine-amide lipid is present in Its structure was established by a combination of chemical analysis and mass spectrometry. 3-Hydroxyoctadecanoic and 3-hydroxyeicosanoic acids (and homologues) were found to be linked through an amide bond to the α-amino group of L-ornithine, the hydroxyl group of the fatty acid being esterified mainly by tuberculostearic acid (10-methyloctadecanoic acid). This ornithine-amide lipid was detected in several other slow-growing pathogenic mycobacteria by thin layer chromatography, but not in an avirulent strain (H37 Ra) of In each case mass spectrometry showed that all the structures were identical, thus revising an earlier reported structure for the lipid from


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