Structural and biological characteristics of different forms of V. filiformis lipid A: use of MS to highlight structural discrepancies

J Lipid Res. 2017 Mar;58(3):543-552. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M072900. Epub 2017 Jan 25.


Vitreoscilla filiformis is a Gram-negative bacterium isolated from spa waters and described for its beneficial effects on the skin. We characterized the detailed structure of its lipopolysaccharide (LPS) lipid A moiety, an active component of the bacterium that contributes to the observed skin activation properties. Two different batches differing in postculture cell recovery were tested. Chemical analyses and mass spectra, obtained before and after mild-alkali treatments, revealed that these lipids A share the common bisphosphorylated β-(1→6)-linked d-glucosamine disaccharide with hydroxydecanoic acid in an amide linkage. Short-chain FAs, hydroxydecanoic and dodecanoic acid, were found in a 2:1 ratio. The two lipid A structures differed by the relative amount of the hexa-acyl molecular species and phosphoethanolamine substitution of the phosphate groups. The two V. filiformis LPS batches induced variable interleukin-6 and TNF-α secretion by stimulated myelomonocytic THP-1 cells, without any difference in reactive oxygen species production or activation of caspase 3/7. Other different well-known highly purified LPS samples were characterized structurally and used as standards. The structural data obtained in this work explain the low inflammatory response observed for V. filiformis LPS and the previously demonstrated beneficial effects on the skin.

Keywords: V. filiformis; cytokines; lipid biochemistry; lipopolysaccharide; mass spectrometry; skin; toll-like receptor.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Disaccharides / chemistry*
  • Disaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Disaccharides / pharmacology
  • Ethanolamines / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lipid A / chemistry*
  • Lipid A / isolation & purification
  • Lipopolysaccharides / chemistry*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Skin / chemistry*
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Vitreoscilla / chemistry


  • Disaccharides
  • Ethanolamines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipid A
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • phosphorylethanolamine