Characterization of the binding of Actinomyces naeslundii (ATCC 12104) and Actinomyces viscosus (ATCC 19246) to glycosphingolipids, using a solid-phase overlay approach

J Biol Chem. 1990 Jul 5;265(19):11251-8.


Actinomyces naeslundii (ATCC 12104) and Actinomyces viscosus (ATCC 19246) were radiolabeled externally (125I) or metabolically (35S) and analyzed for their ability to bind glycosphingolipids separated on thin layer chromatograms or coated in microtiter wells. Two binding properties were found and characterized in detail. (i) Both bacteria showed binding to lactosylceramide (LacCer) in a fashion similar to bacteria characterized earlier. The activity of free LacCer was dependent on the ceramide structure; species with 2-hydroxy fatty acid and/or a trihydroxy base were positive, while species with nonhydroxy fatty acid and a dihydroxy base were negative binders. Several glycolipids with internal lactose were active but only gangliotriaosylceramide and gangliotetraosylceramide were as active as free LacCer. The binding to these three species was half-maximal at about 200 ng of glycolipid and was not blocked by preincubation of bacteria with free lactose or lactose-bovine serum albumin. (ii) A. naeslundii, unlike A. viscosus, showed a superimposed binding concluded to be to terminal or internal GalNAc beta and equivalent to a lactose-inhibitable specificity previously analyzed by other workers. Terminal Gal beta was not recognized in several glycolipids, although free Gal and lactose were active as soluble inhibitors. The binding was half-maximal at about 10 ng of glycolipid. A glycolipid mixture prepared from a scraping of human buccal epithelium contained an active glycolipid with sites for both binding specificities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Actinomyces / metabolism*
  • Antigens, CD*
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Epithelium / analysis
  • Erythrocytes / analysis
  • Fatty Acids
  • Gangliosides
  • Glycosphingolipids / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxylation
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Lactosylceramides*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mouth / analysis
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Sulfur Radioisotopes


  • Antigens, CD
  • Fatty Acids
  • G(A1) ganglioside
  • Gangliosides
  • Glycosphingolipids
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Lactosylceramides
  • Sulfur Radioisotopes
  • ganglio-N-triaosylceramide
  • CDw17 antigen