Total synthesis of a Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 12F CPS repeating unit hexasaccharide.
ABSTRACT: The Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae causes severe disease globally. Vaccines that prevent S. pneumoniae infections induce antibodies against epitopes within the bacterial capsular polysaccharide (CPS). A better immunological understanding of the epitopes that protect from bacterial infection requires defined oligosaccharides obtained by total synthesis. The key to the synthesis of the S. pneumoniae serotype 12F CPS hexasaccharide repeating unit that is not contained in currently used glycoconjugate vaccines is the assembly of the trisaccharide ?-D-GalpNAc-(1?4)-[?-D-Glcp-(1?3)]-?-D-ManpNAcA, in which the branching points are equipped with orthogonal protecting groups. A linear approach relying on the sequential assembly of monosaccharide building blocks proved superior to a convergent [3 + 3] strategy that was not successful due to steric constraints. The synthetic hexasaccharide is the starting point for further immunological investigations.
Project description:Vaccines against S. pneumoniae, one of the most prevalent bacterial infections causing severe disease, rely on isolated capsular polysaccharide (CPS) that are conjugated to proteins. Such isolates contain a heterogeneous oligosaccharide mixture of different chain lengths and frame shifts. Access to defined synthetic S. pneumoniae CPS structures is desirable. Known syntheses of S. pneumoniae serotype 3 CPS rely on a time-consuming and low-yielding late-stage oxidation step, or use disaccharide building blocks which limits variability. Herein, we report the first iterative automated glycan assembly (AGA) of a conjugation-ready S. pneumoniae serotype 3 CPS trisaccharide. This oligosaccharide was assembled using a novel glucuronic acid building block to circumvent the need for a late-stage oxidation. The introduction of a washing step with the activator prior to each glycosylation cycle greatly increased the yields by neutralizing any residual base from deprotection steps in the synthetic cycle. This process improvement is applicable to AGA of many other oligosaccharides.
Project description:The rmpA2 gene, which encodes an activator for capsular polysaccharide (CPS) synthesis, was isolated from a 200-kb virulence plasmid of Klebsiella pneumoniae CG43. Based on the sequence homology with LuxR at the carboxyl-terminal DNA-binding motif, we hypothesized that RmpA2 exerts its effect by activating the expression of cps genes that are responsible for CPS biosynthesis. Two luxAB transcriptional fusions, each containing a putative promoter region of the K. pneumoniae K2 cps genes, were constructed and were found to be activated in the presence of multicopy rmpA2. The activation is likely due to direct binding of RmpA2 to the cps gene promoter through its C-terminal DNA binding motif. Moreover, the loss of colony mucoidy in a K. pneumoniae strain deficient in RcsB, a regulator for cps gene expression, could be recovered by complementing the strain with a multicopy plasmid carrying rmpA2. The CPS production in Lon protease-deficient K. pneumoniae significantly increased, and the effect was accompanied by an increase of RmpA2 stability. The expression of the rmpA2 gene was negatively autoregulated and could be activated when the organism was grown in M9 minimal medium. An IS3 element located upstream of the rmpA2 was required for the full activation of the rmpA2 promoter. In summary, our results suggest that the enhancement of K2 CPS synthesis in K. pneumoniae CG43 by RmpA2 can be attributed to its transcriptional activation of K2 cps genes, and the expression level of rmpA2 is autoregulated and under the control of Lon protease.
Project description:Streptococcus pneumoniae is a Gram-positive human pathogen with a complex lipoteichoic acid (pnLTA) structure. Because the current structural model for pnLTA shows substantial inconsistencies, we reinvestigated purified and, more importantly, O-deacylated pnLTA, which is most suitable for NMR spectroscopy and electrospray ionization-MS spectrometry. We analyzed pnLTA of nonencapsulated pneumococcal strains D39?cps and TIGR4?cps, respectively. The data obtained allowed us to (re)define (i) the position and linkage of the repeating unit, (ii) the putative ?-GalpNAc substitution at the ribitiol 5-phosphate (Rib-ol-5-P), and (iii) the length of (i.e. the number of repeating units in) the pnLTA chain. We here also describe for the first time that the terminal sugar residues in the pnLTA (Forssman disaccharide; ?-D-GalpNAc-(1?3)-?-D-GalpNAc-(1?)), responsible for the cross-reactivity with anti-Forssman antigen antibodies, can be heterogeneous with respect to its degree of phosphorylcholine substitution in both O-6-positions. To assess the proinflammatory potency of pnLTA, we generated a (lipopeptide-free) ?lgt mutant of strain D39?cps, isolated its pnLTA, and showed that it is capable of inducing IL-6 release in human mononuclear cells, independent of TLR2 activation. This finding was quite in contrast to LTA of the Staphylococcus aureus SA113?lgt mutant, which did not activate human mononuclear cells in our experiments. Remarkably, this is also contrary to various other reports showing a proinflammatory potency of S. aureus LTA. Taken together, our study refines the structure of pnLTA and indicates that pneumococcal and S. aureus LTAs differ not only in their structure but also in their bioactivity.
Project description:Although virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae is associated with its capsule, some pathogenic S. pneumoniae isolates lack capsules and are serologically nontypeable (NT). We obtained 64 isolates that were identified as NT "pneumococci" (i.e., bacteria satisfying the conventional definition but without the multilocus sequence typing [MLST]-based definition of S. pneumoniae) by the traditional criteria. All 64 were optochin sensitive and had lytA, and 63 had ply. Twelve isolates had cpsA, suggesting the presence of a conventional but defective capsular polysaccharide synthesis (cps) locus. The 52 cpsA-negative isolates could be divided into three null capsule clades (NCC) based on aliC (aliB-like ORF1), aliD (aliB-like ORF2), and our newly discovered gene, pspK, in their cps loci. pspK encodes a protein with a long alpha-helical region containing an LPxTG motif and a YPT motif known to bind human pIgR. There were nine isolates in NCC1 (pspK(+) but negative for aliC and aliD), 32 isolates in NCC2 (aliC(+) aliD(+) but negative for pspK), and 11 in NCC3 (aliD(+) but negative for aliC and pspK). Among 52 cpsA-negative isolates, 41 were identified as S. pneumoniae by MLST analysis. All NCC1 and most NCC2 isolates were S. pneumoniae, whereas all nine NCC3 and two NCC2 isolates were not S. pneumoniae. Several NCC1 and NCC2 isolates from multiple individuals had identical MLST and cps regions, showing that unencapsulated S. pneumoniae can be infectious among humans. Furthermore, NCC1 and NCC2 S. pneumoniae isolates could colonize mice as well as encapsulated S. pneumoniae, although S. pneumoniae with an artificially disrupted cps locus did not. Moreover, an NCC1 isolate with pspK deletion did not colonize mice, suggesting that pspK is critical for colonization. Thus, PspK may provide pneumococci a means of surviving in the nasopharynx without capsule. IMPORTANCE The presence of a capsule is critical for many pathogenic bacteria, including pneumococci. Reflecting the pathogenic importance of the pneumococcal capsule, pneumococcal vaccines are designed to elicit anticapsule antibodies. Additional evidence for the pathogenic importance of the pneumococcal capsule is the fact that in pneumococci all the genes necessary for capsule production are together in one genetic locus, which is called the cps locus. However, there are occasional pathogenic pneumococci without capsules, and how they survive in the host without the capsule is unknown. Here, we show that in these acapsular pneumococci, the cps loci have been replaced with various novel genes and they can colonize mouse nasopharynges as well as capsulated pneumococci. Since the genes that replace the cps loci are likely to be important in host survival, they may show new and/or alternative capsule-independent survival mechanisms used by pneumococci.
Project description:The pneumococcus produces a polysaccharide capsule, encoded by the cps locus, that provides protection against phagocytosis and determines serotype. Nearly 100 serotypes have been identified with new serotypes still being discovered, especially in previously understudied regions. Here we present an analysis of the cps loci of more than 18 ?000 genomes from the Global Pneumococcal Sequencing (GPS) project with the aim of identifying novel cps loci with the potential to produce previously unrecognized capsule structures. Serotypes were assigned using whole genome sequence data and 66 of the approximately 100 known serotypes were included in the final dataset. Closer examination of each serotype's sequences identified nine putative novel cps loci (9X, 11X, 16X, 18X1, 18X2, 18X3, 29X, 33X and 36X) found in ~2.6 ?% of the genomes. The large number and global distribution of GPS genomes provided an unprecedented opportunity to identify novel cps loci and consider their phylogenetic and geographical distribution. Nine putative novel cps loci were identified and examples of each will undergo subsequent structural and immunological analysis.
Project description:A biotinylated heparosan hexasaccharide was synthesized using a one-pot multi-enzyme strategy, in situ activation and transfer of N-trifluoroacetylglucosamine (GlcNTFA) to a heparin backbone significantly improved the synthetic efficiency. The biotinylated hexasaccharide could serve as a flexible core to diversify its conversion into heparan sulfate isoforms with potential biological applications and therapeutics.
Project description:The capsule polysaccharide locus (cps) is the site of the capsule biosynthesis gene cluster in encapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae. A set of pneumococcal samples and non-pneumococcal streptococci from Denmark, the Gambia, the Netherlands, Thailand, the UK and the USA were sequenced at the cps locus to elucidate serologically mistyped or non-typable isolates. We identified a novel serotype 33B/33C mosaic capsule cluster and previously unseen serotype 22F capsule genes, disrupted and deleted cps clusters, the presence of aliB and nspA genes that are unrelated to capsule production, and similar genes in the non-pneumococcal samples. These data provide greater understanding of diversity at a locus which is crucial to the antigenic diversity of the pathogen and current vaccine strategies.
Project description:A synthesis of the nonreducing end hexasaccharide of saccharomicin B, ?-l-Eva-(1?4)-?-l-Eva-(1?4)-?-l-Dig-(1?4)-?-l-Eva-(1?4)-?-l-Dig-(1?4)-?-d-Fuc, has been developed. Selective glycosylations of l-digitoxose (l-Dig) using AgPF6/TTBP-mediated thioether activation and l-4-e pi-vancosamine (l-Eva) using Tf2O/DTBMP-mediated sulfoxide activation produced the hexasaccharide as a single diastereomer in very good yield. This hexasaccharide is properly functionalized to serve as a glycosyl donor for the total synthesis of saccharomicin B.