Novel variation of lipid A structures in strains of different Yersinia species

FEBS Lett. 2000 Jan 7;465(1):87-92. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(99)01722-6.


The Yersinia genus includes human and animal pathogens (plague, enterocolitis). The fine structures of the endotoxin lipids A of seven strains of Yersinia enterocolitica, Yersinia ruckeri and Yersinia pestis were determined and compared using mass spectrometry. These lipids differed in secondary acylation at C-2': this was dodecanoic acid (C(12)) for two strains of Y. enterocolitica and Y. ruckeri, tetradecanoic acid (C(14)) in two other Y. enterocolitica and hexadecenoic acid (C(16:1)) in Y. pestis. The enterocolitica lipids having a mass identical to that of Escherichia coli were found to be structurally different. The results supported the idea of a relation between membrane fluidity and environmental adaptability in Yersinia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fatty Acids / chemistry
  • Lipid A / chemistry*
  • Membrane Fluidity
  • Molecular Weight
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Yersinia / genetics
  • Yersinia / metabolism*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Lipid A