The lipooligosaccharide (LOS) from the Neisseria meningitidis prototype serogroup A strain NMA Z2491, an L9 immunotype LOS, was isolated and structurally characterized using glycosyl composition and linkage determination, mass spectrometry, and both 1- and 2-D nuclear resonance spectroscopy. The results show that the L9 LOS has an identical structure to that of an L4 LOS structure with the exception that it does not contain a sialic acid residue linked to position 3 of the lactoneotetraose terminal galactosyl residue. Further, two oligosaccharides are present in the Z2491 LOS preparation, OS1 and OS2. They differ from one another only in that OS2 contains an added glycine moiety, presumably at O-7 on the inner core Hep II residue. The structures of these oligosaccharides are as follows:[GRAPHICS]where R = H or Gly. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.