252Cf plasma‐desorption mass spectrometry of lipid a from Enterobacter agglomerans

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Endotoxins from gram‐negative bacteria are believed to be causative agents of byssinosis, an occupational pulmonary disease associated with exposure to cotton dust in textile mills. Lipid A preparations from Enerobacter agglomerans, a gram‐negative bacterium commonly found in cotton and cotton dust, have been analyzed using plasma‐desorption mass spectrometry. Results indicate the existence of at least two lipid A types which differ only by the presence of an additional oxygen atom whose position has been localized to the acyloxyacyl ester‐linked side‐chain of the distal portion of the molecule. The lower molecular weight compound of the two structures has the same molecular weight and presumably the same empirical formula as a well‐characterized lipid A from Salmonella minnesota. The mass spectra of lipid A compounds obtained from S. minnesota and E. agglomerans show strong similarities. Palmitoyl, hydroxymyristoyl, myristoyl, and lauroyl side‐chains which are known to be prest in the former are inferred from spectral evidence to be present in the latter. Copyright © 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry

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