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Issue 30, 2015
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Bacterial lipopolysaccharides form physically cross-linked, two-dimensional gels in the presence of divalent cations

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Abstract

We established a bacterial membrane model with monolayers of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS Re and LPS Ra) and quantified their viscoelastic properties by using an interfacial stress rheometer coupled to a Langmuir film balance. LPS Re monolayers exhibited purely viscous behaviour in the absence of calcium ions, while the same monolayers underwent a viscous-to-elastic transition upon compression in the presence of Ca2+. Our results demonstrated for the first time that LPSs in bacterial outer membranes can form two-dimensional elastic networks in the presence of Ca2+. Different from LPS Re monolayers, the LPS Ra monolayers showed a very similar rheological transition both in the presence and absence of Ca2+, suggesting that longer saccharide chains can form 2D physical gels even in the absence of Ca2+. By exposure of the monolayers to the antimicrobial peptide protamine, we could directly monitor the differences in resistance of bacterial membranes according to the presence of calcium.

Graphical abstract: Bacterial lipopolysaccharides form physically cross-linked, two-dimensional gels in the presence of divalent cations

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Apr 2015, accepted on 26 Jun 2015 and first published on 02 Jul 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01002K
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Soft Matter, 2015,11, 6037-6044

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    Bacterial lipopolysaccharides form physically cross-linked, two-dimensional gels in the presence of divalent cations

    M. Herrmann, E. Schneck, T. Gutsmann, K. Brandenburg and M. Tanaka, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 6037
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01002K

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