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Mar. Drugs 2007, 5(3), 85-112; doi:10.3390/md503085

Molecular Structure of Endotoxins from Gram-negative Marine Bacteria: An Update

Dipartimento di Chimica Organica e Biochimica, Università degli studi di Napoli “Federico II”, via Cintia 4, I-80126 Napoli, Italy
Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Far-East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 690022 Vladivostok-22, Russian Federation
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 August 2007 / Accepted: 17 September 2007 / Published: 19 September 2007
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
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Marine bacteria are microrganisms that have adapted, through millions of years, to survival in environments often characterized by one or more extreme physical or chemical parameters, namely pressure, temperature and salinity. The main interest in the research on marine bacteria is due to their ability to produce several biologically active molecules, such as antibiotics, toxins and antitoxins, antitumor and antimicrobial agents. Nonetheless, lipopolysaccharides (LPSs), or their portions, from Gram-negative marine bacteria, have often shown low virulence, and represent potential candidates in the development of drugs to prevent septic shock. Besides, the molecular architecture of such molecules is related to the possibility of thriving in marine habitats, shielding the cell from the disrupting action of natural stress factors. Over the last few years, the depiction of a variety of structures of lipids A, core oligosaccharides and O-specific polysaccharides from LPSs of marine microrganisms has been given. In particular, here we will examine the most recently encountered structures for bacteria belonging to the genera Shewanella, Pseudoalteromonas and Alteromonas, of the γ-Proteobacteria phylum, and to the genera Flavobacterium, Cellulophaga, Arenibacter and Chryseobacterium, of the Cytophaga- Flavobacterium-Bacteroides phylum. Particular attention will be paid to the chemical features expressed by these structures (characteristic monosaccharides, non-glycidic appendages, phosphate groups), to the typifying traits of LPSs from marine bacteria and to the possible correlation existing between such features and the adaptation, over years, of bacteria to marine environments.
Keywords: endotoxin; lipopolysaccharide; lipid A; O-polysaccharide; marine bacteria endotoxin; lipopolysaccharide; lipid A; O-polysaccharide; marine bacteria
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Leone, S.; Silipo, A.; Nazarenko, E.L.; Lanzetta, R.; Parrilli, M.; Molinaro, A. Molecular Structure of Endotoxins from Gram-negative Marine Bacteria: An Update. Mar. Drugs 2007, 5, 85-112.

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