Analyzing the dynamic bacterial glycome with a lectin microarray approach

Nat Chem Biol. 2006 Mar;2(3):153-7. doi: 10.1038/nchembio767. Epub 2006 Feb 5.


Glycosylation of bacterial cell surfaces is emerging as a critical factor in symbiosis, pathogenesis, cell-cell interactions and immune evasion. The lack of high-throughput analytical tools to examine bacterial glycans has been a major obstacle to the field and has hindered closer examination of the dynamics of carbohydrate variation. We have recently developed a lectin microarray for the analysis of glycoproteins. Herein we present a rapid analytical system based on this technology for the examination of bacterial glycans. The glycosylation pattern observed distinguishes closely related Escherichia coli strains from one another, providing a facile means of fingerprinting bacteria. In addition, dynamic alterations in the carbohydrate coat of a pathogenic E. coli strain are readily observed. The fast evaluation of real-time alterations in surface-carbohydrate epitopes allows examination of the dynamic role of bacterial sugars in response to external stimuli such as the immune system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / chemistry*
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Lectins / chemistry*
  • Polysaccharides / analysis*
  • Protein Array Analysis / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Lectins
  • Polysaccharides