Background: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) comprises the outer cell wall of all gram-negative bacteria. It consists of an oligosaccharide core and lipid A. All LPS-induced biological responses are lipid A-dependent. Once released, LPS triggers a host systemic inflammatory response that leads to septic shock. Binding studies have helped to reveal some of the molecular interactions behind septic shock. Such studies have employed methods of labeling bacterial LPS with either radiochemicals or fluorescent dyes. Poor labeling of the LPS has resulted in the use of high concentrations of LPS in order to detect its binding.
Methods: In this study, we have devised a new methodology for labeling LPS, using hydrazide and galactose oxidase in order to oxidize galactose residues to aldehyde groups in the oligosaccharide core of the LPS.
Results: We have managed to generate a conjugate that is highly fluorescent (LPS-to-Alexa 488 labeling ratio of 1:5) and biologically active.
Conclusions: For the first time, this probe has enabled us to detect LPS binding even at pg/ml concentrations. Using this methodology, any Alexa-hydrazide dye can be conjugated to LPS, providing us with novel probes for imaging studies.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.