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In JoVE (1)
- Visualisation and Quantification of Intracellular Interactions of Neisseria meningitidis and Human α-actinin by Confocal Imaging
Other Publications (24)
- Molecular Microbiology
- Methods in Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Microbiology
- Molecular Microbiology
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Molecular Microbiology
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Cellular Microbiology
- Pediatric Transplantation
- Cellular Microbiology
- Cellular Microbiology
- Cellular Microbiology
- Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
- The EMBO Journal
- Cellular Microbiology
- The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
- Nature Reviews. Microbiology
- Infection and Immunity
- Clinical Science (London, England : 1979)
- PLoS Pathogens
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Molecular Microbiology
- Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Articles by Mumtaz Virji in JoVE
Visualisation and Quantification of Intracellular Interactions of Neisseria meningitidis and Human α-actinin by Confocal Imaging
Isabel Murillo, Mumtaz Virji
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol, UK
Neisseria meningitidis (Nm), a gram negative human-specific respiratory pathogen, can bind to human α-actinin. Here we present a protocol for visualisation of colocalisation of the bacterium with intracellular α-actinin after bacterial entry into human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs).
Other articles by Mumtaz Virji on PubMed
Genetic and Functional Analysis of the Phosphorylcholine Moiety of Commensal Neisseria Lipopolysaccharide
Molecular Microbiology. Jan, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 11985720
Phosphorylcholine (ChoP) is a common surface feature of many mucosal organisms, including Neisseria spp., in which it is present exclusively on pili of pathogenic Neisseria and on the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of commensal Neisseria (Cn). Its presence in Cn has been confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance. It appears that choline is the main source for the production of ChoP by Cn. We have sequenced a locus, containing four genes (licA-D) with 47-73% identity to the lic1 locus of Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) and 21-40% identity to lic genes in Streptococcus pneumoniae, involved in the production and incorporation of ChoP. The arrangement of the Cn genes and the presence of CAAT repeats, responsible for phase variation of ChoP expression, resemble Hi and differ from S. pneumoniae. Cn DNA flanking the lic locus contains genes ilvE and NMA2149 with >85% identity to the pathogenic Neisseria genes. However, there are no lic genes in the corresponding location or elsewhere in pathogenic Neisseria. This suggests either the loss of the locus from pathogenic Neisseria or a horizontal transfer of genes to Cn, perhaps from H. influenzae spp. As in Hi, ChoP enhances adherence to and invasion of human epithelial cells via the receptor for platelet-activating factor. However, ChoP expression also increases susceptibility to serum killing mediated by complement and C-reactive protein. Taken together, these observations support the hypothesis that the ability of many organisms to switch off ChoP expression rapidly represents an important adaptation to different environments encountered during the colonization/infection process and that the ChoP moiety apparently synthesized by distinct means in pathogenic and commensal Neisseria represents an advantage in the colonization properties of these bacteria.
Methods in Molecular Medicine. 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12374028
A Novel Cell-binding Mechanism of Moraxella Catarrhalis Ubiquitous Surface Protein UspA: Specific Targeting of the N-domain of Carcinoembryonic Antigen-related Cell Adhesion Molecules by UspA1
Molecular Microbiology. Apr, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12657049
Carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecules (CEACAMs) are receptors for several Neisseria and Haemophilus spp. In this investigation, we demonstrate that a major outer membrane protein of Moraxella catarrhalis (Mx) strains, belonging to the ubiquitous surface protein (Usp) family, also interacts with the receptor. The interaction was demonstrated in Western blot overlay of SDS-PAGE-separated bacterial proteins using soluble receptor constructs as well as by co-precipitation experiments. The identity of the bacterial ligand was further ascertained by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). It was shown to belong to the UspA1 subfamily. In general, antibodies raised against synthetic UspA1, but not UspA2, peptides bound to the Mx ligand. CEACAM1-Fc-binding property could be demonstrated in all the clinical isolates examined but varied between strains. A single colony derivative of an Mx isolate was also demonstrated to bind to transfected Chinese hamster ovary and some human respiratory epithelial cells in a CEACAM-dependent manner. Thus, we have identified the third respiratory pathogen with the capacity to target the CEACAM family of receptors. The Mx ligand is structurally unrelated to those of Neisseria and Haemophilus.
Recognition of Sialylated Meningococcal Lipopolysaccharide by Siglecs Expressed on Myeloid Cells Leads to Enhanced Bacterial Uptake
Molecular Microbiology. Sep, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12940982
Sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectins (siglecs) are expressed predominantly in the haemopoietic and immune systems and exhibit specificities for both the linkage and the nature of sialic acids in N-glycans, O-glycans and glycolipids. Several siglecs, including sialoadhesin (Sn, siglec-1) and siglec-5, bind to NeuAcalpha2,3Gal, a terminal capping structure that can also be displayed on the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Neisseria meningitidis (Nm). In the present study, we examined the potential of siglecs expressed on cells of the immune system to function as receptors for sialylated Nm. We used sialylated and non-sialylated LPS derivatives of two serogroups (A and B) of Nm in this study. Using recombinant chimeric soluble receptors, siglec-transfected cell lines and macrophages from wild-type and Sn-deficient mice, we observed that sialylated but not non-sialylated variants of either genetic background were specifically recognized by Sn and siglec-5, whereas other siglecs examined were ineffective. In addition, macrophages expressing Sn, as well as transfectants expressing Sn or siglec-5, bound and phagocytosed sialylated bacteria in a siglec- and sialic acid-dependent manner. This study demonstrates that Nm LPS sialylation can lead to increased bacterial susceptibility to phagocytic uptake, a phenomenon in direct contrast to previously reported protective effects of LPS sialylation.
Unique Modifications with Phosphocholine and Phosphoethanolamine Define Alternate Antigenic Forms of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Type IV Pili
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jul, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15249686
Several major bacterial pathogens and related commensal species colonizing the human mucosa express phosphocholine (PC) at their cell surfaces. PC appears to impact host-microbe biology by serving as a ligand for both C-reactive protein and the receptor for platelet-activating factor. Type IV pili of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng) and Neisseria meningitidis, filamentous protein structures critical to the colonization of their human hosts, are known to react variably with monoclonal antibodies recognizing a PC epitope. However, the structural basis for this reactivity has remained elusive. To address this matter, we exploited the finding that the PilE pilin subunit in Ng mutants lacking the PilV protein acquired the PC epitope independent of changes in pilin primary structure. Specifically, we show by using mass spectrometry that PilE derived from the pilV background is composed of a mixture of subunits bearing O-linked forms of either phosphoethanolamine (PE) or PC at the same residue, whereas the wild-type background carries only PE at that same site. Therefore, PilV can influence pilin structure and antigenicity by modulating the incorporation of these alternative modifications. The disaccharide covalently linked to Ng pilin was also characterized because it is present on the same peptides bearing the PE and PC modifications and, contrary to previous reports, was found to be linked by means of 2,4-diacetamido-2,4,6-trideoxyhexose. Taken together, these findings provide new insights into Ng type IV pilus structure and antigenicity and resolve long-standing issues regarding the nature of both the PC epitope and the pilin glycan.
Carcinoembryonic Antigen-related Cell Adhesion Molecule (CEACAM)-binding Recombinant Polypeptide Confers Protection Against Infection by Respiratory and Urogenital Pathogens
Molecular Microbiology. Mar, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15720557
The human-specific pathogens Neisseria meningitidis, N. gonorrhoea, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis share the property of targeting the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-related cell adhesion molecules (CEACAMs) expressed on human epithelia. CEACAMs are signalling receptors implicated in cell adhesion and regulation of several physiological functions. Their targeting by pathogens can lead to tissue invasion. Although the CEACAM-binding ligands of the bacteria are structurally diverse, they target a common site on the receptor. We have generated a recombinant polypeptide that blocks the interactions of the mucosal pathogens with human epithelial cells and antibodies against it inhibit M. catarrhalis interactions with the receptor. As such, it is a potential antimicrobial agent to prevent infection via a strategy unlikely to promote bacterial resistance and a vaccine candidate against M. catarrhalis. In addition, it could serve more widely as a novel research tool and as a potential therapeutic agent in CEACAM-based physiological disorders.
Recognition of Saccharides by the OpcA, OpaD, and OpaB Outer Membrane Proteins from Neisseria Meningitidis
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Sep, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16006553
The adhesion of the pathogen Neisseria meningitidis to host cell surface proteoglycan, mediated by the integral outer membrane proteins OpcA and Opa, plays an important part in the processes of colonization and invasion by the bacterium. The precise specificities of the OpcA and Opa proteins are, however, unknown. Here we use a fluorescence-based binding assay to show that both proteins bind to mono- and disaccharides with high affinity. Binding of saccharides caused a quench in the intrinsic fluorescence emission of both proteins, and mutation of selected Tyr residues within the external loop regions caused a substantial decrease in fluorescence. We suggest that the intrinsic fluorescence arises from resonance energy transfer from Tyr to Trp residues in the beta-barrel portion of the structure. OpcA bound sialic acid with a Kd of 0.31 microM and was shown to be specific for pyranose saccharides. The binding specificities of two different Opa proteins were compared; unlike OpcA, neither protein bound to monosaccharides, but both bound to maltose, lactose, and sialic acid-containing oligosaccharides, with Kd values in the micromolar range. OpaB had a 10-fold higher affinity for sialic acid-containing ligands than OpaD as a result of the mutation Y165V, which was shown to restore this specificity to OpaD. Finally, the OpcA- and Opa-dependent adhesion of meningococci to epithelial cells was shown to be partially inhibited by exogenously added sialic acid and maltose. The results show that OpcA and the Opa proteins can be thought of as outer membrane lectins and that simple saccharides can modulate their recognition of complex proteoglycan receptors.
Critical Determinants of the Interactions of Capsule-expressing Neisseria Meningitidis with Host Cells: the Role of Receptor Density in Increased Cellular Targeting Via the Outer Membrane Opa Proteins
Cellular Microbiology. Oct, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16153247
Neisseria meningitidis capsule is an important virulence determinant required for survival in the blood but is reportedly involved in inhibiting cellular interactions mediated by meningococcal outer membrane adhesins. However, evidence from our previous studies suggested that target receptor density on host cells may determine whether or not capsulate bacteria can adhere via outer membrane proteins such as Opa. To confirm this and evaluate the impact of capsulation on bacterial interactions, we used Opa(+) and Opa(-) derivatives of capsulate and acapsulate meningococcal isolates and transfected cell lines expressing CEACAM1, a receptor targeted by Opa proteins. To assess the extent and rate of cell association, subpopulations of stably transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells with different receptor levels were derived. A quantitative correlation of CEACAM1 levels and Opa-dependent binding of both capsulate and acapsulate bacteria was demonstrated, which was accelerated at high receptor densities. However, it appears that invasion by Opa(+) capsulate bacteria only occurs when a threshold level of CEACAM density has been reached. Target cells expressing high levels of CEACAM1 (MFI c. 400) bound threefold more, but internalized 20-fold more Opa(+) capsulate bacteria than those with intermediate expression (MFI c. 100). No overall selection of acapsulate phenotype was observed in the internalized population. These observations confirm that capsule may not be an adequate barrier for cellular interactions and demonstrate the role of a host factor that may determine capsulate bacterial invasion potential. Upregulation of CEACAMs, which can occur in response to inflammatory cytokines, could lead to translocation of a small number of fully capsulate bacteria across mucosal epithelium into the bloodstream sufficient to cause a rapid onset of disseminated disease. Thus the data also suggest a novel rationale for the epidemiological observations that individuals with prior infectious/inflammatory conditions carry a high risk of invasive meningococcal disease.
Limited Sampling Strategy for Cyclosporine (Neoral) Area Under the Curve Monitoring in Pediatric Kidney Transplant Recipients
Pediatric Transplantation. Oct, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16176411
Cyclosporine (CSA; Neoral) is one of the most common immunosuppressants used in pediatric renal transplantation. Research in adult renal transplant recipients has shown that 2-h post-dose concentration (C2) monitoring and limited sampling strategies (LSSs) are better at predicting drug exposure and outcome than trough concentrations (C0). While C0 monitoring is the usual practice in pediatric renal transplant patients, area under the curve (AUC) monitoring has been shown to be superior in terms of predictive ability and outcomes. However, AUC monitoring is impractical and inconvenient in a clinic setting because it involves many blood samples. An LSS provides a reliable alternative. The purpose of this study was to prospectively define an LSS (AUC(0-12)) for CSA monitoring and to test its predictive performance. As well, an LSS (AUC(0-4)) for CSA was developed and its predictive performance tested. Blood samples for CSA concentrations were collected in 29 stable pediatric renal transplant patients prior to (t = 0) and at 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 h following a steady-state morning CSA dose. AUC was calculated by the trapezoidal method; LSSs for AUC(0-12) and AUC(0-4) were determined using multiple regression analysis in 14 patients; and the LSSs' predictive performance was tested in 15 additional patients. Both LSSs require two blood samples. For the LSS (AUC(0-12)), blood samples are required immediately before the dose and 2 h post-dose: AUC(0-12) = 12.45 C0 + 2.17 C2 + 723.16 (r2 = 0.909). For the LSS (AUC(0-4)), blood samples are required at one and 2 h post-dose, AUC(0-4) = 1.17 C1 + 1.85 C2 - 41.00 (r2 = 0.971). The LSSs demonstrated low bias and high precision for both AUC(0-12) and AUC(0-4). Our two-concentration LSSs are accurate and precise predictors that are more clinically useful for our patient population than other LSSs that have been developed for pediatric renal transplant patients. Our study template provides a guide for other centers to develop accurate and precise LSSs specific to their own patient population.
Co-ordinate Action of Bacterial Adhesins and Human Carcinoembryonic Antigen Receptors in Enhanced Cellular Invasion by Capsulate Serum Resistant Neisseria Meningitidis
Cellular Microbiology. Jan, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 16889622
Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) is a human specific opportunistic pathogen that occasionally penetrates mucosal barriers via the action of adhesins and invasins and evades host immune mechanisms during further dissemination via capsule expression. From in vitro studies, the primary adhesion of capsulate bacteria is believed to be mediated by polymeric pili, followed by invasion via outer membrane adhesins such as Opa proteins. As the latter requires the surface capsule to be down-modulated, invading bacteria would be serum sensitive and thus avirulent. However, there is recent evidence that capsulate bacteria may interact via Opa proteins when host cells express high levels of carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecules (CEACAMs), their target receptors. Such a situation may arise following increased circulation of inflammatory cytokines that upregulate certain adhesion molecules on host cells. In this study, using a tetracycline controlled expression system, we have developed cell lines with inducible CEACAM expression to mimic post-inflammation state of target tissues and analysed the interplay between the three surface components capsule, pili and Opa proteins in cellular interactions. With two distinct cell lines, not only the level but also the rate of adhesion of capsulate Opa-expressing Nm increased concurrently with CEACAM density. Moreover, when threshold levels of receptor were reached, cellular invasion ensued in an Opa-dependent manner. In studies with cell lines intrinsically expressing pilus receptors, notable synergism in cellular interactions between pili and Opa of several meningococcal strains was observed and was independent of capsule type. A number of internalized bacteria were shown to express capsule and when directly isolated from host cells, these bacteria were as serum resistant as the inoculated phenotype. Furthermore, we observed that agents that block Opa-CEACAM binding substantially reduced cellular invasion, while maintaining a low level of cellular adhesion. These studies highlight some of the factors that may determine increased host susceptibility to infection by serum resistant phenotypes; and demonstrate the potential of selective inhibition of key interactions in preventing target tissue penetration while maintaining a level of colonization.
Mutational Analysis of Human CEACAM1: the Potential of Receptor Polymorphism in Increasing Host Susceptibility to Bacterial Infection
Cellular Microbiology. Feb, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 16953805
A common overlapping site on the N-terminal IgV-like domain of human carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-related cell adhesion molecules (CEACAMs) is targeted by several important human respiratory pathogens. These include Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) and Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) that can cause disseminated or persistent localized infections. To define the precise structural features that determine the binding of distinct pathogens with CEACAMs, we have undertaken molecular modelling and mutation of the receptor molecules at previously implicated key target residues required for bacterial binding. These include Ser-32, Tyr-34, Val-39, Gln-44 and Gln-89, in addition to Ile-91, the primary docking site for the pathogens. Most, but not all, of these residues located adjacent to each other in a previous N-domain model of human CEACAM1, which was based on REI, CD2 and CD4. In the current studies, we have refined this model based on the mouse CEACAM1 crystal structure, and observe that all of the above residues form an exposed continuous binding region on the N-domain. Examination of the model also suggested that substitution of two of these residues 34 and 89 could affect the accessibility of Ile-91 for ligand binding. By introducing selected mutations at the positions 91, 34 and 89, we confirmed the primary importance of Ile-91 in all bacterial binding to CEACAM1 despite the inter- and intraspecies structural differences between the bacterial CEACAM-binding ligands. The studies further indicated that the efficiency of binding was significantly enhanced for specific strains by mutations such as Y34F and Q89N, which also altered the hierarchy of Nm versus Hi strain binding. These studies imply that distinct polymorphisms in human epithelial CEACAMs have the potential to decrease or increase the risk of infection by the receptor-targeting pathogens.
IFN-gamma Amplifies NFkappaB-dependent Neisseria Meningitidis Invasion of Epithelial Cells Via Specific Upregulation of CEA-related Cell Adhesion Molecule 1
Cellular Microbiology. Dec, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17764466
Temporal relationship between viral and bacterial infections has been observed, and may arise via the action of virus-induced inflammatory cytokines. These, by upregulating epithelial receptors targeted by bacteria, may encourage greater bacterial infiltration. In this study, human epithelial cells exposed to interferon-gamma but not tumour necrosis factor-alpha or interleukin 1-beta supported increased meningococcal adhesion and invasion. The increase was related to Opa but not Opc or pili adhesin expression. De novo synthesis of carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1), a major Opa receptor, occurred in epithelial cells exposed to the cytokine, or when infected with Opa-expressing bacteria. Cell line-dependent differences in invasion that were observed could be correlated with CEACAM expression levels. There was also evidence for Opa/pili synergism leading to high levels of monolayer infiltration by capsulate bacteria. The use of nuclear factor-kappa B (NFkappaB) inhibitors, diferuloylmethane (curcumin) and SN50, abrogated bacterial infiltration of both untreated and interferon-gamma-treated cells. The studies demonstrate the importance of CEACAMs as mediators of increased cellular invasion under conditions of inflammation and bring to light the potential role of NFkappaB pathway in Opa-mediated invasion by meningococci. The data imply that cell-surface remodelling by virally induced cytokines could be one factor that increases host susceptibility to bacterial infection.
Characterization of Epithelial IL-8 Response to Inflammatory Bowel Disease Mucosal E. Coli and Its Inhibition by Mesalamine
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 17941093
Mucosally adherent E. coli are found in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colon cancer. They promote release of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-8 (IL-8). We explored mechanisms for this release and its inhibition by drugs.
The Moraxella Adhesin UspA1 Binds to Its Human CEACAM1 Receptor by a Deformable Trimeric Coiled-coil
The EMBO Journal. Jun, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18497748
Moraxella catarrhalis is a ubiquitous human-specific bacterium commonly associated with upper and lower respiratory tract infections, including otitis media, sinusitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The bacterium uses an autotransporter protein UspA1 to target an important human cellular receptor carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1). Using X-ray crystallography, we show that the CEACAM1 receptor-binding region of UspA1 unusually consists of an extended, rod-like left-handed trimeric coiled-coil. Mutagenesis and binding studies of UspA1 and the N-domain of CEACAM1 have been used to delineate the interacting surfaces between ligand and receptor and guide assembly of the complex. However, solution scattering, molecular modelling and electron microscopy analyses all indicate that significant bending of the UspA1 coiled-coil stalk also occurs. This explains how UspA1 can engage CEACAM1 at a site far distant from its head group, permitting closer proximity of the respective cell surfaces during infection.
Cellular Microbiology. Mar, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19016781
Neisseria meningitidis Opc protein is an effective invasin for human endothelial cells. We have investigated novel human endothelial receptors targeted by Opc and observed that Opc-expressing bacteria interacted with a 100 kDa protein in whole-cell lysates of human endothelial and epithelial cells. The identity of the protein was established as alpha-actinin by mass spectrometry. Opc expression was essential for the recognition of alpha-actinin whether provided in a purified form or in cell extracts. The interaction of the two proteins did not involve intermediate molecules. As there was no demonstrable expression of alpha-actinin on the surfaces of any of the eight cell lines studied, the likelihood of the interactions after meningococcal internalization was examined. Confocal imaging demonstrated considerable colocalization of N. meningitidis with alpha-actinin especially after a prolonged period of internalization. This may imply that bacteria and alpha-actinin initially occur in separate compartments and co-compartmentalization occurs progressively over the 8 h infection period used. In conclusion, these studies have identified a novel and an intracellular target for the N. meningitidis Opc invasin. Since alpha-actinin is a modulator of a variety of signalling pathways and of cytoskeletal functions, its targeting by Opc may enable bacteria to survive/translocate across endothelial barriers.
The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19057458
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is a significant pathogen in children, causing otitis media, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, pneumonia, and occasionally invasive infections. H. influenzae type b conjugate vaccines have no effect on infections caused by nontypeable strains because nontypeable strains are nonencapsulated. Approximately, one-third of episodes of otitis media are caused by nontypeable H. influenzae and the bacterium is the most common cause of recurrent otitis media. Recent progress in elucidating molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, understanding the role of biofilms in otitis media and an increasing understanding of immune responses have potential for development of novel strategies to improve prevention and treatment of otitis media caused by nontypeable H. influenzae. Feasibility of vaccination for prevention of otitis media due to nontypeable H. influenzae was recently demonstrated in a clinical trial with a vaccine that included the surface virulence factor, protein D.
Nature Reviews. Microbiology. Apr, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19287450
Although renowned as a lethal pathogen, Neisseria meningitidis has adapted to be a commensal of the human nasopharynx. It shares extensive genetic and antigenic similarities with the urogenital pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae but displays a distinct lifestyle and niche preference. Together, they pose a considerable challenge for vaccine development as they modulate their surface structures with remarkable speed. Nonetheless, their host-cell attachment and invasion capacity is maintained, a property that could be exploited to combat tissue infiltration. With the primary focus on N. meningitidis, this Review examines the known mechanisms used by these pathogens for niche establishment and the challenges such mechanisms pose for infection control.
Vaccine. Jun, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19481311
Neisseria meningitidis interacts with host tissues through hierarchical, concerted and co-ordinated actions of a number of adhesins; many of which undergo antigenic and phase variation, a strategy that helps immune evasion. Three major structures, pili, Opa and Opc predominantly influence bacterial adhesion to host cells. Pili and Opa proteins also determine host and tissue specificity while Opa and Opc facilitate efficient cellular invasion. Recent studies have also implied a role of certain adhesin-receptor pairs in determining increased host susceptibility to infection. This chapter examines our current knowledge of meningococcal adhesion and invasion mechanisms particularly related to human epithelial and endothelial cells which are of primary importance in the disease process.
Opa+ and Opa- Isolates of Neisseria Meningitidis and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Induce Sustained Proliferative Responses in Human CD4+ T Cells
Infection and Immunity. Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19720754
T cells may interact with a number of bacterial surface antigens, an encounter which has the potential to downmodulate host immune responses. Neisseria meningitidis, a human colonizer and an agent of septicemia and meningitis, expresses Opa proteins which interact with the CEACAM1 receptor expressed on activated T cells. Since CEACAM1 can act as an inhibitory receptor and T cells in subepithelial tissues may encounter whole bacteria, which often express Opa proteins in vivo, this study assessed primarily if Opa proteins expressed on meningococci affect T-cell functions. In addition, Opa-containing outer membrane vesicles (OMV) have been used as vaccine antigens, and therefore Opa+ and Opa- OMV were also studied. While Opa+ bacteria adhered to CEACAM-expressing T cells, both the Opa+ and Opa- phenotypes induced no to a small transient depression, followed by a prolonged increase in proliferation as well as cytokine production. Such responses were also observed with heat-killed bacteria or OMV. In addition, while anti-CEACAM antibodies alone inhibited proliferation, on coincubation of T cells with bacteria and the antibodies, bacterial effects predominated and were Opa independent. Thus, while Opa proteins of N. meningitidis can bind to T-cell-expressed CEACAM1, this is not sufficient to overcome the T-cell recognition of bacterial factors, which results in a proliferative and cytokine response, an observation consistent with the ability of the host to establish lasting immunity to Opa-expressing meningococci that it frequently encounters. The data also imply that Opa-proficient vaccine preparations may not necessarily inhibit T-cell functions via CEACAM1 binding.
Clinical Science (London, England : 1979). May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20132098
The human species is the only natural host of Neisseria meningitidis, an important cause of bacterial meningitis globally, and, despite its association with devastating diseases, N. meningitidis is a commensal organism found frequently in the respiratory tract of healthy individuals. To date, antibiotic resistance is relatively uncommon in N. meningitidis isolates but, due to the rapid onset of disease in susceptible hosts, the mortality rate remains approx. 10%. Additionally, patients who survive meningococcal disease often endure numerous debilitating sequelae. N. meningitidis strains are classified primarily into serogroups based on the type of polysaccharide capsule expressed. In total, 13 serogroups have been described; however, the majority of disease is caused by strains belonging to one of only five serogroups. Although vaccines have been developed against some of these, a universal meningococcal vaccine remains a challenge due to successful immune evasion strategies of the organism, including mimicry of host structures as well as frequent antigenic variation. N. meningitidis express a range of virulence factors including capsular polysaccharide, lipopolysaccharide and a number of surface-expressed adhesive proteins. Variation of these surface structures is necessary for meningococci to evade killing by host defence mechanisms. Nonetheless, adhesion to host cells and tissues needs to be maintained to enable colonization and ensure bacterial survival in the niche. The aims of the present review are to provide a brief outline of meningococcal carriage, disease and burden to society. With this background, we discuss several bacterial strategies that may enable its survival in the human respiratory tract during colonization and in the blood during infection. We also examine several known meningococcal adhesion mechanisms and conclude with a section on the potential processes that may operate in vivo as meningococci progress from the respiratory niche through the blood to reach the central nervous system.
Neisseria Meningitidis Opc Invasin Binds to the Sulphated Tyrosines of Activated Vitronectin to Attach to and Invade Human Brain Endothelial Cells
PLoS Pathogens. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20502634
The host vasculature is believed to constitute the principal route of dissemination of Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) throughout the body, resulting in septicaemia and meningitis in susceptible humans. In vitro, the Nm outer membrane protein Opc can enhance cellular entry and exit, utilising serum factors to anchor to endothelial integrins; but the mechanisms of binding to serum factors are poorly characterised. This study demonstrates that Nm Opc expressed in acapsulate as well as capsulate bacteria can increase human brain endothelial cell line (HBMEC) adhesion and entry by first binding to serum vitronectin and, to a lesser extent, fibronectin. This study also demonstrates that Opc binds preferentially to the activated form of human vitronectin, but not to native vitronectin unless the latter is treated to relax its closed conformation. The direct binding of vitronectin occurs at its Connecting Region (CR) requiring sulphated tyrosines Y(56) and Y(59). Accordingly, Opc/vitronectin interaction could be inhibited with a conformation-dependent monoclonal antibody 8E6 that targets the sulphotyrosines, and with synthetic sulphated (but not phosphorylated or unmodified) peptides spanning the vitronectin residues 43-68. Most importantly, the 26-mer sulphated peptide bearing the cell-binding domain (45)RGD(47) was sufficient for efficient meningococcal invasion of HBMECs. To our knowledge, this is the first study describing the binding of a bacterial adhesin to sulphated tyrosines of the host receptor. Our data also show that a single region of Opc is likely to interact with the sulphated regions of both vitronectin and of heparin. As such, in the absence of heparin, Opc-expressing Nm interact directly at the CR but when precoated with heparin, they bind via heparin to the heparin-binding domain of the activated vitronectin, although with a lower affinity than at the CR. Such redundancy suggests the importance of Opc/vitronectin interaction in meningococcal pathogenesis and may enable the bacterium to harness the benefits of the physiological processes in which the host effector molecule participates.
Correlation of in Situ Mechanosensitive Responses of the Moraxella Catarrhalis Adhesin UspA1 with Fibronectin and Receptor CEACAM1 Binding
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Sep, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21876142
Bacterial cell surfaces are commonly decorated with a layer formed from multiple copies of adhesin proteins whose binding interactions initiate colonization and infection processes. In this study, we investigate the physical deformability of the UspA1 adhesin protein from Moraxella catarrhalis, a causative agent of middle-ear infections in humans. UspA1 binds a range of extracellular proteins including fibronectin, and the epithelial cellular receptor carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1). Electron microscopy indicates that unliganded UspA1 is densely packed at, and extends about 800 Å from, the Moraxella surface. Using a modified atomic force microscope, we show that the adhesive properties and thickness of the UspA1 layer at the cell surface varies on addition of either fibronectin or CEACAM1. This in situ analysis is then correlated with the molecular structure of UspA1. To provide an overall model for UspA1, we have determined crystal structures for two N-terminal fragments which are then combined with a previous structure of the CEACAM1-binding site. We show that the UspA1-fibronectin complex is formed between UspA1 head region and the 13th type-III domain of fibronectin and, using X-ray scattering, that the complex involves an angular association between these two proteins. In combination with a previous study, which showed that the CEACAM1-UspA1 complex is distinctively bent in solution, we correlate these observations on isolated fragments of UspA1 with its in situ response on the cell surface. This study therefore provides a rare direct demonstration of protein conformational change at the cell surface.
Meningococcal Surface Fibril (Msf) Binds to Activated Vitronectin and Inhibits the Terminal Complement Pathway to Increase Serum Resistance
Molecular Microbiology. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22050461
Complement evasion is an important survival strategy of Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) during colonization and infection. Previously, we have shown that Nm Opc binds to serum vitronectin to inhibit complement-mediated killing. In this study, we demonstrate meningococcal interactions with vitronectin via a novel adhesin, Msf (meningococcal surface fibril, previously NhhA or Hsf). As with Opc, Msf binds preferentially to activated vitronectin (aVn), engaging at its N-terminal region but the C-terminal heparin binding domain may also participate. However, unlike Opc, the latter binding is not heparin-mediated. By binding to aVn, Msf or Opc can impart serum resistance, which is further increased in coexpressers, a phenomenon dependent on serum aVn concentrations. The survival fitness of aVn-binding derivatives was evident from mixed population studies, in which msf/opc mutants were preferentially depleted. In addition, using vitronectin peptides to block Msf-aVn interactions, aVn-induced inhibition of lytic C5b-9 formation and of serum killing could be reversed. As Msf-encoding gene is ubiquitous in the meningococcal strains examined and is expressed in vivo, serum resistance via Msf may be of significance to meningococcal pathogenesis. The data imply that vitronectin binding may be an important strategy for the in vivo survival of Nm for which the bacterium has evolved redundant mechanisms.
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2012 | Pubmed ID: 21993644
Meningococcal mechanisms of adhesion are complex, involving multiple adhesins and their respective target receptors on host cells. Three major surface structures--pili, Opa, and Opc--have been known for some time to mediate meningococcal adhesion to target human cells. More recently, several other relatively minor adhesins have also come to light. The literature on bacterial adhesion mechanisms provides numerous examples of various adhesins acting cooperatively in an apparently hierarchical and sequential manner; in other instances, adhesins may act in concert leading to high avidity interactions, often a prelude to cellular invasion and tissue penetration. Such examples are also present in the case of meningococci, although our knowledge of adhesin cooperation and synergy is far from complete. Meningococcal mechanisms used to target the host, which are often specific for the host or a tissue within the host, include both lectin-like interactions and protein-protein interactions; the latter tend to determine specificity in general. Understanding (a) what determines specificity (i.e. molecular features of adhesins and receptors), (b) encourages cellular penetration (i.e. adhesin pairs, which act in concert or synergistically to deliver effective signals for invasion and induce other cellular responses), (c) level of redundancy (more than one mechanisms of targeting host receptors), (d) host situations that encourage tissue penetration (inflammatory situations during which circulating cytokines upregulate target cell receptors, effectively encouraging greater adhesion/invasion), and (e) down-stream effects on host functions in general are all clearly important in our future strategies of controlling meningococcal pathogenesis.