1887

Abstract

Direct estimation of the molecular mass of single molecular species of trehalose 6-monomycolate (TMM), a ubiquitous cell-wall component of mycobacteria, was performed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. When less than 1 μg TMM was analysed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, quasimolecular ions [M+Na] of each molecular species were demonstrated and the numbers of carbons and double bonds (or cyclopropane rings) were determined. Since the introduction of oxygen atoms such as carbonyl, methoxy and ester groups yielded the appropriate shift of mass ions, the major subclasses of mycolic acid (, methoxy, keto and wax ester) were identified without resorting to hydrolytic procedures. The results showed a marked difference in the molecular species composition of TMM among mycobacterial species. Unexpectedly, differing from other mycoloyl glycolipids, TMM from showed a distinctive mass pattern, with abundant odd-carbon-numbered monocyclopropanoic (or monoenoic) -mycolates besides dicyclopropanoic mycolate, ranging from C to C, odd- and even-carbon-numbered methoxymycolates ranging from C to C and even- and odd-carbon-numbered ketomycolates ranging from C to C. In contrast, TMM from (wild strain and BCG substrains) possessed even-carbon-numbered dicyclopropanoic -mycolates. BCG Connaught strain lacked methoxymycolates almost completely. These results were confirmed by MALDI-TOF mass analysis of mycolic acid methyl esters liberated by alkaline hydrolysis and methylation of the original TMM. Wax ester-mycoloyl TMM molecular species were demonstrated for the first time as an intact form in the group, and . The group possessed predominantly C and C wax ester-mycoloyl TMM, while and the rapid growers tested contained C, C, C and C wax ester-mycoloyl TMM. This technique has marked advantages in the rapid analysis of not only intact glycolipid TMM, but also the mycolic acid composition of each mycobacterial species, since it does not require any degradation process.

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2005-05-01
2019-10-17
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