Acetobacter pasteurianus is an aerobic Gram-negative rod that is used in the fermentation process used to produce the traditional Japanese black rice vinegar kurozu. Previously, we found that a hydrophobic fraction derived from kurozu stimulates Toll-like receptors to produce cytokines. LPSs, particularly LPS from A. pasteurianus, are strong candidates for the immunostimulatory component of kurozu. The LPS of A. pasteurianus remains stable in acidic conditions during the 2 years of the abovementioned fermentation process. Thus, we hypothesized that its stability results from its structure. In this study, we isolated the LPS produced by A. pasteurianus NBRC 3283 bacterial cells and characterized the structure of its lipid A component. The lipid A moiety was obtained by standard weak acid hydrolysis of the LPS. However, the hydrolysis was incomplete because a certain proportion of the LPS contained acid-stable D-glycero-D-talo-oct-2-ulosonic acid (Ko) residues instead of the acid-labile 3-deoxy-D-manno-oct-2-ulosonic acid residues that are normally found in typical LPS. Even so, we obtained a Ko-substituted lipid A with a novel sugar backbone, α-Man(1-4)[α-Ko(2-6)]β-GlcN3N(1-6)α-GlcN(1-1)α-GlcA. Its reducing end GlcN(1-1)GlcA bond was also found to be quite acid-stable. Six fatty acids were attached to the backbone. Both the whole LPS and the lipid A moiety induced TNF-α production in murine cells via Toll-like receptor 4, although their activity was weaker than those of Escherichia coli LPS and lipid A. These results suggest that the structurally atypical A. pasteurianus lipid A found in this study remains stable and, hence, retains its immunostimulatory activity during acetic acid fermentation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas