Cartoon showing the basic structure of mycobacterial lipoarabinomannan (LAM) and its three main domains.
(i) The glycophospholipid anchor binds the molecule to the plasma membrane of the organism. (ii) The mannan core is attached to this and is highly conserved across mycobacterial species. (iii) The variable branching arabinan side chains and the variable mannose capping of these side chains gives rise to the diversity of LAM molecules.
Lawn BMC Infectious Diseases 2012 12:103 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-103