Article

Brain angiogenesis inhibitor 1 (BAI1) is a pattern recognition receptor that mediates macrophage binding and engulfment of Gram-negative bacteria

Departments of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 02/2011; 108(5):2136-41. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1014775108
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bacterial recognition by host cells is essential for initiation of infection and the host response. Bacteria interact with host cells via multiple pattern recognition receptors that recognize microbial products or pathogen-associated molecular patterns. In response to this interaction, host cell signaling cascades are activated that lead to inflammatory responses and/or phagocytic clearance of attached bacteria. Brain angiogenesis inhibitor 1 (BAI1) is a receptor that recognizes apoptotic cells through its conserved type I thrombospondin repeats and triggers their engulfment through an ELMO1/Dock/Rac1 signaling module. Because thrombospondin repeats in other proteins have been shown to bind bacterial surface components, we hypothesized that BAI1 may also mediate the recognition and clearance of pathogenic bacteria. We found that preincubation of bacteria with recombinant soluble BAI1 ectodomain or knockdown of endogenous BAI1 in primary macrophages significantly reduced binding and internalization of the Gram-negative pathogen Salmonella typhimurium. Conversely, overexpression of BAI1 enhanced attachment and engulfment of Salmonella in macrophages and in heterologous nonphagocytic cells. Bacterial uptake is triggered by the BAI1-mediated activation of Rac through an ELMO/Dock-dependent mechanism, and inhibition of the BAI1/ELMO1 interaction prevents both Rac activation and bacterial uptake. Moreover, inhibition of ELMO1 or Rac function significantly impairs the proinflammatory response to infection. Finally, we show that BAI1 interacts with a variety of Gram-negative, but not Gram-positive, bacteria through recognition of their surface lipopolysaccharide. Together these findings identify BAI1 as a pattern recognition receptor that mediates nonopsonic phagocytosis of Gram-negative bacteria by macrophages and directly affects the host response to infection.

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