Reactivity of antibodies from syphilis patients to a protein array representing the Treponema pallidum proteome.
ABSTRACT To identify antigens important in the human immune response to syphilis, the serum antibody reactivity of syphilitic patients was examined with 908 of the 1,039 proteins in the proteome of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum using a protein array enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Thirty-four proteins exhibited significant reactivity when assayed with human sera from patients in the early latent stage of syphilis. A subset of antigens identified were further scrutinized for antibody reactivity at primary, secondary, and latent disease stages, and the results demonstrate that the humoral immune response to individual T. pallidum proteins develops at different rates during the time course of infection.
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ABSTRACT: Treponema pallidum ssp. pallidum (TPA), the causative agent of syphilis, and Treponema pallidum ssp. pertenue (TPE), the causative agent of yaws, are closely related spirochetes causing diseases with distinct clinical manifestations. The TPA Mexico A strain was isolated in 1953 from male, with primary syphilis, living in Mexico. Attempts to cultivate TPA Mexico A strain under in vitro conditions have revealed lower growth potential compared to other tested TPA strains. The complete genome sequence of the TPA Mexico A strain was determined using the Illumina sequencing technique. The genome sequence assembly was verified using the whole genome fingerprinting technique and the final sequence was annotated. The genome size of the Mexico A strain was determined to be 1,140,038 bp with 1,035 predicted ORFs. The Mexico A genome sequence was compared to the whole genome sequences of three TPA (Nichols, SS14 and Chicago) and three TPE (CDC-2, Samoa D and Gauthier) strains. No large rearrangements in the Mexico A genome were found and the identified nucleotide changes occurred most frequently in genes encoding putative virulence factors. Nevertheless, the genome of the Mexico A strain, revealed two genes (TPAMA_0326 (tp92) and TPAMA_0488 (mcp2-1)) which combine TPA- and TPE- specific nucleotide sequences. Both genes were found to be under positive selection within TPA strains and also between TPA and TPE strains. The observed mosaic character of the TPAMA_0326 and TPAMA_0488 loci is likely a result of inter-strain recombination between TPA and TPE strains during simultaneous infection of a single host suggesting horizontal gene transfer between treponemal subspecies.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 09/2012; 6(9):e1832. · 4.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Treponema pallidum is a highly invasive pathogen that undergoes rapid dissemination to establish widespread infection. Previous investigations identified the T. pallidum adhesin, pallilysin, as an HEXXH-containing metalloprotease that undergoes autocatalytic cleavage and degrades laminin and fibrinogen. In the current study we characterized pallilysin's active site, activation requirements, cellular location, and fibrin clot degradation capacity through both in vitro assays and heterologous treponemal expression and degradation studies. Site-directed mutagenesis showed the pallilysin HEXXH motif comprises at least part of the active site, as introduction of three independent mutations (AEXXH [H¹⁹⁸A], HAXXH [E¹⁹⁹A], and HEXXA [H²⁰²A]) abolished pallilysin-mediated fibrinogenolysis but did not adversely affect host component binding. Attainment of full pallilysin proteolytic activity was dependent upon autocatalytic cleavage of an N-terminal pro-domain, a process which could not occur in the HEXXH mutants. Pallilysin was shown to possess a thrombin cleavage site within its N-terminal pro-domain, and in vitro studies confirmed cleavage of pallilysin with thrombin generates a truncated pallilysin fragment that has enhanced proteolytic activity, suggesting pallilysin can also exploit the host coagulation process to facilitate protease activation. Opsonophagocytosis assays performed with viable T. pallidum demonstrated pallilysin is a target of opsonic antibodies, consistent with a host component-interacting, surface-exposed cellular location. Wild-type pallilysin, but not the HEXXA mutant, degraded fibrin clots, and similarly heterologous expression of pallilysin in the non-invasive spirochete Treponema phagedenis facilitated fibrin clot degradation. Collectively these results identify pallilysin as a surface-exposed metalloprotease within T. pallidum that possesses an HEXXH active site motif and requires autocatalytic or host-mediated cleavage of a pro-domain to attain full host component-directed proteolytic activity. Furthermore, our finding that expression of pallilysin confers upon T. phagedenis the capacity to degrade fibrin clots suggests this capability may contribute to the dissemination potential of T. pallidum.PLoS Pathogens 07/2012; 8(7):e1002822. · 8.06 Impact Factor
- Proceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences Section B Natural Exact and Applied Sciences 01/2008; 62(6):209-214.