Institut for Biomedicin

Thomas Vorup-Jensen

Sialic acid residues are essential for cell lysis mediated by leukotoxin from Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans

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Leukotoxin (LtxA) from Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is known to target and lyse β2-integrin-expressing cells such as polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophages. LtxA is an important virulence factor that facilitates chronic inflammation and is strongly associated with a fast-progressing form of periodontitis caused by the JP2 clone of the bacterium. Here, we show that sialic acid residues are important for LtxA-induced cell lysis, regardless of whether the cell express β2-integrin or not. Clearly, removal of sialic acid groups significantly reduces a β2-integrin-specific LtxA-induced lysis. Moreover, sialic acid presented on alternative proteins, such as, for instance, on erythrocytes that do not express β2-integrin, also makes the cells more sensitive to LtxA. The data also illustrate the importance of the negative charge in order for the sialic acid to associate LtxA with the membrane. Removal of sialic acid is in itself sufficient to significantly reduce the negative charge on the erythrocytes. Moreover, we found that on human erythrocytes there is a positive association between the sensitivity to LtxA and the amount of negative charge caused by sialic acid. Interestingly, these features are not shared by all RTX toxins, since α-hemolysin from Escherichia coli induced cell lysis of both β2-integrin-expressing and nonexpressing cells and this lysis is independent of the presence of sialic acid residues. In conclusion, LtxA not only is cytotoxic to β2-integrin-expressing cells but can potentially initiate cell lysis in all cells that present a sufficient density of sialic acid groups on their plasma membrane.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInfection and Immunity
Vol/bind82
Nummer6
Sider (fra-til)2219-28
Antal sider10
ISSN0019-9567
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2014

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