Alcaligenes faecalis is the predominant Gram-negative bacterium inhabiting gut-associated lymphoid tissues, Peyer's patches. We previously reported that an A. faecalis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) acted as a weak agonist for Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)/myeloid differentiation factor-2 (MD-2) receptor as well as a potent inducer of IgA without excessive inflammation, thus suggesting that A. faecalis LPS might be used as a safe adjuvant. In this study, we characterized the structure of both the lipooligosaccharide (LOS) and LPS from A. faecalis. We synthesized three lipid A molecules with different degrees of acylation by an efficient route involving the simultaneous introduction of 1- and 4′-phosphates. Hexaacylated A. faecalis lipid A showed moderate agonistic activity towards TLR4-mediated signaling and the ability to elicit a discrete interleukin-6 release in human cell lines and mice. It was thus found to be the active principle of the LOS/LPS and a promising vaccine adjuvant candidate.
- lipid A
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