Structural studies on a lipoarabinogalactan of Crithidia fasciculata.
Schneider P., Treumann A., Milne KG., McConville MJ., Zitzmann N., Ferguson MA.
The monosaccharide D-arabinopyranose has only been found in glycoconjugates of the trypanasomatid parasites Leishmania major, Endotrypanum schaudinni and Crithidia fasciculata. The donor molecule for the relevant arabinosyltransferases is known to be GDP-alpha-D-Arap in L. major and C. fasciculata, and the latter organism is being used to study the biosynthesis of GDP-alpha-D-Arap. In this study, we describe the structure of the terminal product of arabinose metabolism in C. fasciculata, namely lipoarabinogalactan. This molecule was purified by hydrophobic-interaction chromatography and studied by a variety of techniques, including gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, electrospray mass spectrometry and chemical and enzymic digestions. These data show that lipoarabinogalactan contains a previously described D-arabino-D-galactan polysaccharide component covalently attached to a glycosylphosphatidylinositol type of membrane anchor that is similar to, but not identical with, that found in the lipophosphoglycans of the Leishmania.