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Biochemical and structural characterization of the novel sialic acid-binding site of Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin LT-IIb.

Journal article
Authors Dani Zalem
João P Ribeiro
Annabelle Varrot
Michael Lebens
Anne Imberty
Susann Teneberg
Published in The Biochemical journal
Volume 473
Issue 21
Pages 3923-3936
ISSN 1470-8728
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 3923-3936
Language en
Subject categories Chemistry


The structurally related AB5-type heat-labile enterotoxins of Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae are classified into two major types. The type I group includes cholera toxin (CT) and E. coli LT-I, whereas the type II subfamily comprises LT-IIa, LT-IIb and LT-IIc. The carbohydrate-binding specificities of LT-IIa, LT-IIb and LT-IIc are distinctive from those of cholera toxin and E. coli LT-I. Whereas CT and LT-I bind primarily to the GM1 ganglioside, LT-IIa binds to gangliosides GD1a, GD1b and GM1, LT-IIb binds to the GD1a and GT1b gangliosides, and LT-IIc binds to GM1, GM2, GM3 and GD1a. These previous studies of the binding properties of type II B-subunits have been focused on ganglio core chain gangliosides. To further define the carbohydrate binding specificity of LT-IIb B-subunits, we have investigated its binding to a collection of gangliosides and non-acid glycosphingolipids with different core chains. A high-affinity binding of LT-IIb B-subunits to gangliosides with a neolacto core chain, such as Neu5Gcα3- and Neu5Acα3-neolactohexaosylceramide, and Neu5Gcα3- and Neu5Acα3-neolactooctaosylceramide was detected. An LT-IIb-binding ganglioside was isolated from human small intestine and characterized as Neu5Acα3-neolactohexaosylceramide. The crystal structure of the B-subunit of LT-IIb with the pentasaccharide moiety of Neu5Acα3-neolactotetraosylceramide (Neu5Ac-nLT: Neu5Acα3Galβ4GlcNAcβ3Galβ4Glc) was determined providing the first information for a sialic-binding site in this subfamily, with clear differences from that of CT and LT-I.

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