Genetic basis for Mycobacterium avium hominissuis resistance to host antimicrobial peptides.
ABSTRACT Antimicrobial peptides are an important component of the innate immune defense. Mycobacterium avium subsp hominissuis (M. avium) is an organism that establishes contact with the respiratory and gastrointestinal mucosa as a necessary step for infection. M. avium is resistant to high concentrations of polymyxin B, a surrogate for antimicrobial peptides. To determine gene-encoding proteins that are associated with this resistance, we screened a transposon library of M. avium strain 104 for susceptibility to polymyxin B. Ten susceptible mutants were identified and the inactivated genes sequenced. The greatest majority of the genes were related to cell wall synthesis and permeability. The mutants were then examined for their ability to enter macrophages and to survive macrophage killing. Three clones among the mutants had impaired uptake by macrophages compared to the wild-type strain, and all ten clones were attenuated in macrophages. The mutants were shown also to be suceptible to cathelicidin (LL-37), in contrast to the wild-type bacterium. All but one of the mutants were significantly attenuated in mice. In conclusion, this study indicated that the M. avium envelope is the primary defense against host antimicrobial peptides.
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ABSTRACT: Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are a large group of environmental organisms with worldwide distribution, but only a relatively few are known to be pathogenic. Chronic, debilitating lung disease is the most common manifestation of NTM infection, which is often refractory to treatment. The incidence and prevalence of NTM lung disease are increasing in the United States and in many parts of the world. Hence, a more complete understanding of NTM pathogenesis will provide the foundation to develop innovative approaches to treat this recalcitrant disease. Herein, we demonstrate that several species of NTM show broad resistance to the antimicrobial peptide, cathelicidin (LL-37). Resistance to LL-37 was not significantly different between M. avium that contain serovar-specific glycopeptidolipid (GPL, M. aviumssGPL) and M. avium that do not (M. aviumΔssGPL). Similarly, M. abscessus containing non-specific GPL (M. abscessusnsGPL(+)) or lacking nsGPL (M. abscessusnsGPL(-)) remained equally resistant to LL-37. These findings would support the notion that GPL are not the components responsible for NTM resistance to LL-37. Unexpectedly, the growth of M. abscessusnsGPL(-) increased with LL-37 or scrambled LL-37 peptide in a dose-dependent fashion. We also discovered that LL-37 exposed to NTM had reduced antimicrobial activity, and initial work indicates that this is likely due to inactivation of LL-37 by lipid component(s) of the NTM cell envelope. We conclude that pathogenic NTM resist and inactivate LL-37. The mechanism by which NTM circumvent the antimicrobial activity of LL-37 remains to be determined.PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5):e0126994. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0126994 · 3.53 Impact Factor