Vibrios are highly motile, facultatively anaerobic bacteria that are ubiquitous in aquatic environments and part of the normal intestinal microflora of healthy fish, but some species can cause vibriosis. The adherence of vibrios to host fish intestines is a significant event not only for their survival and growth, but also in terms of pathogenicity. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the adhesion of vibrios to the intestinal tract of fish is not fully understood. We report here the identification of intestinal glycosphingolipid (GSL) receptors to which pathogenic vibrios attach in typical mariculture fish. Thin-layer chromatography overlay assays using five species of 35S-labeled vibrios and intestinal glycosphingolipids of seven species of mariculture fish revealed that all of the fish tested possessed GM3 (NeuAcα2-3Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1′Cer) and/or GM4 (NeuAcα2-3Galβ1-1′Cer) as major acidic intestinal GSLs and that all of the vibrios tested specifically adhered to GM3 and/or GM4. Our results demonstrate that these GSLs were able to function as a receptor for the various vibrios tested. Analysis of the relationship between sugar structure and receptor activity for vibrios revealed that 'NeuAcα2-3Galβ1-' is required at the non-reducing end of glycosphingolipids for the bacteria to attach.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science