[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) cell wall contains an important group of structurally related mannosylated lipoglycans called phosphatidyl-myo-inositol mannosides (PIMs), lipomannan (LM), and mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM), where the terminal alpha-[1-->2] mannosyl structures on higher order PIMs and ManLAM have been shown to engage C-type lectins such as the macrophage mannose receptor directing M.tb phagosome maturation arrest. An important gene described in the biosynthesis of these molecules is the mannosyltransferase pimB (Rv0557). Here, we disrupted pimB in a virulent strain of M.tb. We demonstrate that the inactivation of pimB in M.tb does not abolish the production of any of its cell wall mannosylated lipoglycans; however, it results in a quantitative decrease in the ManLAM and LM content without affecting higher order PIMs. This finding indicates gene redundancy or the possibility of an alternative biosynthetic pathway that may compensate for the PimB deficiency. Furthermore, infection of human macrophages by the pimB mutant leads to an alteration in macrophage phenotype concomitant with a significant increase in the rate of macrophage death.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) pathogenesis involves the interaction between the mycobacterial cell envelope and host macrophage, a process mediated, in part, by binding of the mannose caps of M. tb lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM) to the macrophage mannose receptor (MR). A presumed critical step in the biosynthesis of ManLAM, and other mannose-containing glycoconjugates, is the conversion of mannose-6-phosphate to mannose-1-phosphate, by a phosphomannomutase (PMM), to produce GDP-mannose, the primary mannose-donor in mycobacteria. We have identified four M. tb H37Rv genes with similarity to known PMMs. Using in vivo complementation of PMM and phosphoglucomutase (PGM) deficient strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and an in vitro enzyme assay, we have identified both PMM and PGM activity from one of these genes, Rv3257c (MtmanB). MtmanB overexpression in M. smegmatis produced increased levels of LAM, lipomannan, and phosphatidylinositol mannosides (PIMs) compared with control strains and led to a 13.3 +/- 3.9-fold greater association of mycobacteria with human macrophages, in a mannan-inhibitable fashion. This increased association was mediated by the overproduction of higher order PIMs that possess mannose cap structures. We conclude that MtmanB encodes a functional PMM involved in the biosynthesis of mannosylated lipoglycans that participate in the association of mycobacteria with macrophage phagocytic receptors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) survives in macrophages in part by limiting phagosome-lysosome (P-L) fusion. M.tb mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM) blocks phagosome maturation. The pattern recognition mannose receptor (MR) binds to the ManLAM mannose caps and mediates phagocytosis of bacilli by human macrophages. Using quantitative electron and confocal microscopy, we report that engagement of the MR by ManLAM during the phagocytic process is a key step in limiting P-L fusion. P-L fusion of ManLAM microspheres was significantly reduced in human macrophages and an MR-expressing cell line but not in monocytes that lack the receptor. Moreover, reversal of P-L fusion inhibition occurred with MR blockade. Inhibition of P-L fusion did not occur with entry via Fcgamma receptors or dendritic cell-specific intracellular adhesion molecule 3 grabbing nonintegrin, or with phosphatidylinositol-capped lipoarabinomannan. The ManLAM mannose cap structures were necessary in limiting P-L fusion, and the intact molecule was required to maintain this phenotype. Finally, MR blockade during phagocytosis of virulent M.tb led to a reversal of P-L fusion inhibition in human macrophages (84.0 +/- 5.1% vs. 38.6 +/- 0.6%). Thus, engagement of the MR by ManLAM during the phagocytic process directs M.tb to its initial phagosomal niche, thereby enhancing survival in human macrophages.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 11/2005; 202(7):987-99. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The entry of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) into the host macrophage and its survival in this environment are key components of tuberculosis pathogenesis. Following intracellular replication of the bacterium within alveolar macrophages, there is spread of bacilli to regional lymph nodes in the lungs and subsequent presentation of antigens to the host immune system. How this process occurs remains poorly understood, but one mechanism may involve the migration of macrophages containing Mtb across the alveoli to lymph nodes, where there is development of a protective host response with formation of granulomas composed in part of aggregated and fused, apoptotic, infected macrophages. Leukocyte integrins, including lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) and complement receptors CR3 and CR4, and their counter receptors play a major role in macrophage adhesion processes and phagocytosis. In this study, the appearance of Mtb-infected macrophages over time was examined, using inverted-phase microscopy and an in vitro culture model of human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). Prior to and immediately following infection of the MDMs with Mtb, the macrophages appeared as individual cells in monolayer culture; however, within 24 h of infection with Mtb, the MDMs began to migrate and adhere to each other. The kinetics of this response were dependent on both the m.o.i. and the length of infection. Quantitative transmission electron microscopy studies revealed that macrophage adhesion was accompanied by increases in levels of LFA-1 and its counter receptor (ICAM-1), decreases in surface levels of the phagocytic receptors CR3, CR4 and FcgammaRII, and an increase in major histocompatibility complex Class II (MHC-II) molecules at 72 h post-infection. Decreases in surface levels of CR3 and CR4 had a functional correlate, with macrophages containing live bacilli showing a diminished phagocytic capacity for complement-opsonized sheep erythrocytes; macrophages containing heat-killed bacilli did not show this diminished capacity. The modulation of macrophage adhesion and phagocytic proteins may influence the trafficking of Mtb-infected macrophages within the host, with increases in levels of LFA-1 and ICAM-1 enhancing the adhesive properties of the macrophage and decreases in phagocytic receptors diminishing the phagocytic capacity of an already-infected cell, potentially allowing for maintenance of the intracellular niche of Mtb.