Article

Mycobacterium tuberculosis Pili Promote Adhesion to and Invasion of THP-1 Macrophages

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Abstract

Central to the paradigm of the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is its ability to attach to, enter, and subsequently survive in host macrophages. However, little is known regarding the bacterial adhesins and invasins involved in this interaction with host macrophages. Pili are cell-surface structures produced by certain bacteria and have been implicated in adhesion to and invasion of phagocytes in several species. M. tuberculosis pili (MTP) are encoded by the Rv3312A (mtp) gene. In the present study, we assessed the ability of a Δmtp mutant and an mtp-complemented clinical strain to adhere to and invade THP-1 macrophages in comparison with the parental strain by determining colony-forming units. Both adhesion to and invasion of macrophages, although not reaching significance, were markedly reduced by 42.16% (P = 0.107) and 69.02% (P = 0.052), respectively, in the pili-deficient Δmtp mutant as compared with the wild-type. The pili-overexpressing complemented strain showed significantly higher levels of THP-1 macrophage adhesion (P = 0.000) and invasion (P = 0.040) than the mutant. We, thus, identified a novel adhesin and invasin of M. tuberculosis involved in adhesion to and invasion of macrophages.

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... Amongst clinical isolates, mtp was shown to be highly conserved and unique to M. tuberculosis complex strains [10]. Functional genomics, using a mtp-deletion mutant, has demonstrated that MTP acts as an adhesin and invasin to THP-1 macrophages [11] and A549 epithelial cells [12]. Global transcriptomics data demonstrated that MTP significantly modulates host immune responses post-infection in epithelial cells and BALB/C mice [13,14]. ...
... Several genomics/functional genomics [10,26,11], transcriptomics [13,14] and peptide studies [15] have provided evidence that the surface located MTP adhesin [9] is a potentially suitable target as a TB diagnostic and vaccine candidate. A metabolomics study using MTP-proficient and MTP-deficient strains of M. tuberculosis, recently demonstrated MTP to influence the production of the pathogen's metabolome, in particular those metabolites associated with cell wall composition, fatty acid metabolism, and amino acid and peptidoglycan synthesis [23] all of which play important roles in M. tuberculosis pathogenesis. ...
... The separation seen between the WT and complement infection samples (Fig. 1b) was not ideal and may have resulted from the combined perturbations brought about by knocking out of the mtp gene and the complementation of the same gene using an episomal plasmid vector. The lack of total restoration of the complement to the WT phenotype, is supported by a previous study which showed a reduction in adhesion and invasion levels of the Δmtp to THP-1 macrophages relative to the WT [11]. The complemented strain demonstrated increased piliation, and subsequently increased adhesion, when compared to WT with similar invasion levels [11]. ...
Article
The initial host-pathogen interaction is crucial for the establishment of infection. An improved understanding of the pathophysiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) during macrophage infection can aid the development of intervention therapeutics against tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis curli pili (MTP) is a surface located adhesin, involved in the first point-of-contact between pathogen and host. This study aimed to better understand the role of MTP in modulating the intertwined metabolic pathways of M. tuberculosis and its THP-1 macrophage host. Metabolites were extracted from pelleted wet cell mass of THP-1 macrophages infected with M. tuberculosis wild-type V9124 (WT), Δmtp-deletion mutant and the mtp-complemented strains, respectively, via a whole metabolome extraction method using a 1:3:1 ratio of chloroform:methanol:water. Metabolites were detected by two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Significant metabolites were determined through univariate and multivariate statistical tests and online pathway databases. Relative to the WT, a total of nine and ten metabolites were significantly different in the Δmtp and complement strains, respectively. All nine significant metabolites were found in elevated levels in the Δmtp relative to the WT. Additionally, of the ten significant metabolites, eight were detected in lower levels and two were detected in higher levels in the complement relative to the WT. The absence of the MTP adhesin resulted in reduced virulence of M. tuberculosis leading to alterations in metabolites involved in carbon, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism during macrophage infection, suggesting that MTP plays an important role in the modulation of host metabolic activity. These findings support the prominent role of the MTP adhesin as a virulence factor as well as a promising biomarker for possible diagnostic and therapeutic intervention.
... This series of events warrants exploration from a metabolomics perspective to better understand the role of adhesins in modulating metabolic pathways upon infection. Mycobacterium tuberculosis curli pili (MTP), encoded by Rv3312A (Alteri et al. 2007), is a surface-located adhesin, and previous studies have documented its importance in TB pathogenesis in vitro as an adhesin/invasin, biofilm producer and cytokine modulator (Ramsugit et al. 2013(Ramsugit et al. , 2016Ramsugit and Pillay 2014). The mtp gene is specific to the M. tuberculosis complex members (Naidoo et al. 2014), and a synthetic MTP peptide yielded a 97% accuracy in anti-MTP Immunoglobulin G antibody detection within patients' sera (Naidoo et al. 2018). ...
... The deletion of mtp resulted in metabolite signatures significantly associated with an altered cell wall composition, fatty acid metabolism, amino acid and peptidoglycan biosynthesis in M. tuberculosis. These findings supported previous reports (Ramsugit et al. 2013(Ramsugit et al. , 2016Naidoo et al. 2014Naidoo et al. , 2018Ramsugit and Pillay 2014) that alluded to MTP being an important contributor to the pathogenicity of M. tuberculosis, and thus, validated the use of this adhesin as a target for improved TB diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Comparison of those findings with the host-infection model in the current study revealed minor similarity. ...
... Moreover, the marked ∆mtp was complemented with an extrachromosomal pMV261 vector (Stover et al. 1991), containing the mtp gene (Ramsugit et al 2013). Adhesion/invasion and biofilm assays (Ramsugit et al. 2013(Ramsugit et al. , 2016Ramsugit and Pillay 2014) demonstrated similar phenotypes in the WT and complemented strains, indicating that the mtp mutant phenotype could be attributed to the loss of that specific gene alone, and that no polar effects were caused by the gene deletion, or by the presence of the hygromycin cassette. If other genes or pathways were impacted, the complemented strain would have behaved differently from the WT. ...
Article
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Introduction A clear understanding of the metabolome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and its target host cell during infection is fundamental for the development of novel diagnostic tools, effective drugs and vaccines required to combat tuberculosis. The surface-located Mycobacterium tuberculosis curli pili (MTP) adhesin forms initial contact with the host cell and is therefore important for the establishment of infection. Objective The aim of this investigation was to determine the role of MTP in modulating pathogen and host metabolic pathways in A549 epithelial cells infected with MTP proficient and deficient strains of M. tuberculosis. Methods Uninfected A549 epithelial cells, and those infected with M. tuberculosis V9124 wild-type strain, Δmtp and the mtp-complemented strains, were subjected to metabolite extraction, two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS) and bioinformatic analyses. Univariate and multivariate statistical tests were used to identify metabolites that were significantly differentially produced in the WT-infected and ∆mtp-infected A549 epithelial cell models, comparatively. Results A total of 46 metabolites occurred in significantly lower relative concentrations in the Δmtp-infected cells, indicating a reduction in nucleic acid synthesis, amino acid metabolism, glutathione metabolism, oxidative stress, lipid metabolism and peptidoglycan, compared to those cells infected with the WT strain. Conclusion The absence of MTP was associated with significant changes to the host metabolome, suggesting that this adhesin is an important contributor to the pathogenicity of M. tuberculosis, and supports previous findings of its potential as a suitable drug, vaccine and diagnostic target.
... In addition, it is a simple and relatively low-cost method that requires no specialized equipment. This assay has been successfully used to identify the adhesin function of the Pro-Glu (PE) polymorphic GC-rich repetitive sequence (PGRS) protein encoded by Rv1818c (11), the heparin-binding hemagglutinin adhesin (HBHA) (12), and curli pili (MTP) (13,14). In these studies, the deletion of the encoding genes (Rv1818c, Rv0475, and Rv3312A) resulted in a significant reduction in M. tuberculosis adhesion to macrophages and/or epithelial cells. ...
... Ramsugit et al (28) showed that a MTP-deficient M. tuberculosis strain displayed a significant reduction in bacterial aggregation and pellicle formation in detergent-free Sauton's media compared with the wild-type strain. Both HBHA and MTP were subsequently shown to also function as adhesins in the host-pathogen interaction (12)(13)(14). ...
Article
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Anti-adhesion therapy represents a potentially promising avenue for the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis in a post-antibiotic era. Adhesins are surface-exposed microbial structures or molecules that enable pathogenic organisms to adhere to host surfaces, a fundamental step towards host infection. Although several Mycobacterium tuberculosis adhesins have been identified, it is predicted that numerous additional adherence-mediating components contribute to the virulence and success of this pathogen. Significant further research to discern and characterize novel M. tuberculosis adhesins is, therefore, required to gain a holistic account of M. tuberculosis adhesion to the host. This would enable the identification of potential drug and vaccine targets for attenuating M. tuberculosis adherence and infectivity. Several methods have been successfully applied to the study and identification of M. tuberculosis adhesins. In this manuscript, we review these methods, which include adherence assays that utilize wild-type and gene knockout mutant strains, epitope masking and competitive inhibition analyses, extracellular matrix protein binding assays, microsphere adhesion assays, M. tuberculosis auto-aggregation assays, and in silico analyses.
... The mtp gene is not organized in an operon or cluster with curli-or piliassociated biogenesis genes, but is located between genes involved in intermediary metabolism [11]. For that reason, the secretion, assembly and association of MTP with the complex mycobacterial cell wall remains enigmatic [119]. Possibly, as yet unidentified additional MTP biogenesis genes are located distantly on the chromosome. ...
... M. tuberculosis ability to attach to, enter, and survive in host cells including macrophages and dendritic cells is critical to its survival, replication and dissemination in the host. MTP-deficient mutants displayed a significant decrease in the adhesion and invasion of human cultured THP-1-derived macrophages or A549 alveolar epithelial cells [119,123]. In M. tuberculosis mouse infection models, MTP were not required for survival of the pathogen, although differences in mtp expression did affect lesion architecture in infected lungs [124]. ...
Article
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Amyloid fibrils are best known as a product of human and animal protein misfolding disorders, where amyloid formation is associated with cytotoxicity and disease. It is now evident that for some proteins, the amyloid state constitutes the native structure and serves a functional role. These functional amyloids are proving widespread in bacteria and fungi, fulfilling diverse functions as structural components in biofilms or spore coats, as toxins and surface-active fibers, as epigenetic material, peptide reservoirs or adhesins mediating binding to and internalization into host cells. In this review, we will focus on the role of functional amyloids in bacterial pathogenesis. The role of functional amyloids as virulence factor is diverse but mostly indirect. Nevertheless, functional amyloid pathways deserve consideration for the acute and long-term effects of the infectious disease process and may form valid antimicrobial targets.
... The use of MTP as a target for a point-of-care test for the detection of tuberculosis MTP were recently demonstrated as unique to the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) pathogens (Alteri et al. 2007, Velayati et al. 2012, Ramsugit et al. 2013, Hosseini et al. 2014, Naidoo et al. 2014, Ramsugit and Pillay 2014 and were reported to bind to laminin and react with IgG antibodies in TB patients' sera (Alteri et al. 2007). Functional genomics, using gene knockout and complementation, has proven that the mtp gene is essential for pili formation and biofilm production which may play a role in mycobacterial persistence in vivo (Ramsugit et al. 2013). ...
... Functional genomics, using gene knockout and complementation, has proven that the mtp gene is essential for pili formation and biofilm production which may play a role in mycobacterial persistence in vivo (Ramsugit et al. 2013). In addition, MTP was elucidated as a significant adhesin and invasin of THP-1 macrophages, as well as pulmonary epithelial cells (Ramsugit and Pillay 2014;Ramsugit et al. 2016), thus playing a significant role in TB pathogenesis. The value of an accurate, rapid, simple and cheap POC diagnostic platform for TB cannot be overstated (Dheda et al. 2013). ...
Article
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Context: Novel biomarkers are essential for developing rapid diagnostics and therapeutic interventions Objective: This review aimed to highlight biomarker characterization and assessment of unique bacterial pili. Methods: A PubMed search for bacterial pili, diagnostics, vaccine and therapeutics was performed, with emphasis on the well characterized pili. Results: In total, 46 papers were identified and reviewed. Conclusion: Extensive analyses of pili enabled by advanced nanotechnology and whole genome sequencing provide evidence that they are strong biomarker candidates. Mycobacterium tuberculosis curli pili are emphasized as important epitopes for development of much needed point-of-care diagnostics and therapeutics.
... The second type is encoded by a reduced set of tight adherence (Tad) pilus genes (5 out of the 14 Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Tad pilus genes, in which the genetics of this class of type IV pili was first characterized) [175]. Mtp have been observed in a small number of studies by method of transmission electron microscopy or AFM [111,[175][176][177][178]. Mtp binds laminin [111] and has been implicated in the ability of M. tuberculosis to invade epithelial and macrophage cell lines in culture [179,180], but inactivation of mtp in two M. tuberculosis strains resulted in no change in the outcome of infection in C3HeB/FeJ mice that form necrotic, hypoxic lesions in which adherence to extracellular matrix proteins could play a role in mycobacterial colonization [175]. Nevertheless, recent studies have implicated Mtp deficiency in metabolic alterations in M. tuberculosis [181], macrophages [182], and epithelial cells [183]. ...
Article
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Adhesion is crucial for the infective lifestyles of bacterial pathogens. Adhesion to non-living surfaces, other microbial cells, and components of the biofilm extracellular matrix are crucial for biofilm formation and integrity, plus adherence to host factors constitutes a first step leading to an infection. Adhesion is, therefore, at the core of pathogens’ ability to contaminate, transmit, establish residency within a host, and cause an infection. Several mycobacterial species cause diseases in humans and animals with diverse clinical manifestations. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which enters through the respiratory tract, first adheres to alveolar macrophages and epithelial cells leading up to transmigration across the alveolar epithelium and containment within granulomas. Later, when dissemination occurs, the bacilli need to adhere to extracellular matrix components to infect extrapulmonary sites. Mycobacteria causing zoonotic infections and emerging nontuberculous mycobacterial pathogens follow divergent routes of infection that probably require adapted adhesion mechanisms. New evidence also points to the occurrence of mycobacterial biofilms during infection, emphasizing a need to better understand the adhesive factors required for their formation. Herein, we review the literature on tuberculous and nontuberculous mycobacterial adhesion to living and non-living surfaces, to themselves, to host cells, and to components of the extracellular matrix.
... 81 M. tuberculosis produces two pili types: curli and type IV pili. 43,81,82 Purified M. tuberculosis pili are composed of low molecularweight protein subunits, designated as Rv3312A. 81 These pili bind to the extracellular matrix protein laminin in vitro and share with other bacterial pili morphological, biochemical, and functional properties, more similar to curli amyloid fibers. ...
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Adherence, colonization, and survival of mycobacteria in host cells require surface adhesins, which are attractive pharmacotherapeutic targets. A large arsenal of pilus and non-pilus adhesins have been identified in mycobacteria. These adhesins are capable of interacting with host cells, including macrophages and epithelial cells and are essential to microbial pathogenesis. In the last decade, several structures of mycobacterial adhesins responsible for adhesion to either macrophages or extra cellular matrix proteins have been elucidated. In addition, key structural and functional information have emerged for the process of mycobacterial adhesion to epithelial cells, mediated by the Heparin Binding Hemagglutinin HBHA. In this review, we provide an overview of the structural and functional features of mycobacterial adhesins and discuss their role as important biomarkers for diagnostics and therapeutics. Based on the reported data, it appears clear that adhesins are endowed with a variety of different structures and functions. Most adhesins play important roles in the cell life of mycobacteria and are key virulence factors. However, they have adapted to an extracellular life to exert a role in host-pathogen interaction. The type of interactions they form with the host and the adhesin regions involved in binding is partly known and is described in this review. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Functional genomics, using gene knockout and complementation, proved that the mtp gene is essential for pili formation and biofilm production [9]. In addition, MTP was elucidated as a significant adhesin and invasin of THP-1 macrophages [10], and pulmonary epithelial cells [11], thus playing a significant role in TB pathogenesis. Recent global transcriptomics in epithelial cell and mouse models further demonstrated MTP involvement in inducing significant host immune response genes, pathways and networks (unpublished). ...
... The importance of these interactions in patients, however, has yet to be confirmed, as the association of mycobacterial biofilms with bacterial pathogenesis has not yet been conclusively shown in vivo. Besides mediating interactions among mycobacterial cells, MTP has been shown to play a role in Mtb adhesion and invasion of A549 pulmonary epithelial cells and THP-1 macrophages [107,119]. Furthermore, an impact of MTP on histopathology in a mouse model of infection has previously been described [113]. Elsewhere, using purified proteins, Alteri et al. detected laminin as a ligand for MTP [108]. ...
Article
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The importance of bacterial lectins for adhesion, pathogenicity, and biofilm formation is well established for many Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. However, there is very little information available about lectins of the tuberculosis-causing bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). In this paper we review previous studies on the carbohydrate-binding characteristics of mycobacteria and related Mtb proteins, discussing their potential relevance to Mtb infection and pathogenesis.
... Furthermore, MTP bind to laminin in vitro and are produced during adherence to epithelial cells, implying that they serve as an adherence factor, crucial in mediating close interaction and colonization with host cells (Alteri et al., 2007). Their role as an adherence factor was further substantiated by their involvement in cellular aggregation and biofilm formation (Ramsugit et al., 2013) and in the adhesion to, and invasion of, THP-1 macrophages (Ramsugit & Pillay, in press). ...
Article
Adhesion to host cells is a precursor to host colonization and evasion of the host immune response. Conversely, it triggers the induction of the immune response, a process vital to the host's defence against infection. Adhesins are microbial cell surface molecules or structures that mediate the attachment of the microbe to host cells and thus the host-pathogen interaction. They also play a crucial role in bacterial aggregation and biofilm formation. In this review, we discuss the role of adhesins in the pathogenesis of the aetiological agent of tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We also provide insight into the structure and characteristics of some of the characterized and putative M. tuberculosis adhesins. Finally, we examine the potential of adhesins as targets for the development of tuberculosis control strategies.
... Bacterial functional amyloids have frequently been implicated as virulence factors in many diseases including involvement with innate immune cells (31). One example is the amyloid pilus of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that facilitates invasion of macrophages (32), and SAP markedly reduces M. tuberculosis phagocytosis (33). The phagocytosis of M. tuberculosis is similar to that of C. albicans, i.e., both are engulfed within a phagolysosome, the difference is that the bacteria persist in macrophages, whereas C. albicans is killed (34), or the fungus kills the macrophage after shifting to hyphal morphology (35). ...
Article
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Macrophages are a key part of our innate immune system and are responsible for recognizing invading microbes, ingesting them, and sending appropriate signals to other immune cells. We have found that human macrophages can recognize invading yeast pathogens that have a specific molecular pattern of proteins on their surfaces: these proteins have structures similar to the structures of amyloid aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. However, this surface pattern also causes the fungi to bind a serum protein called serum amyloid P component (SAP). In turn, the SAP-coated yeasts are poorly recognized and seldom ingested by the macrophages, and the macrophages have a more tolerant and less inflammatory response in the presence of SAP. Therefore, we find that surface structures on the yeast can alter how the macrophages react to invading microbes.
... Previous studies have demonstrated that the surface-located adhesin, MTP, plays an important role as the first point of contact during the host-pathogen interaction (Alteri et al. 2007;Ramsugit et al. 2013Ramsugit et al. , 2016Ramsugit and Pillay 2014), and elicits an antibody response in humans following infection (Alteri et al. 2007;Naidoo et al. 2018). These findings collectively indicated that MTP is potentially suitable as a TB diagnostic target and vaccine candidate. ...
Article
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Introduction: In an effort to find alternative therapeutic interventions to combat tuberculosis, a better understanding of the pathophysiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is required. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis curli pili (MTP) adhesin, present on the surface of this pathogen, has previously been shown using functional genomics and global transcriptomics, to play an important role in establishing infection, bacterial aggregation, and modulating host response in vitro and in vivo. Objective: This investigation aimed to determine the role of MTP in modulating the metabolism of M. tuberculosis, using mtp gene-knockout mutant and complemented strains. Methods: Untargeted two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and bioinformatic analyses, were used to identify significant differences in the metabolite profiles among the wild-type, ∆mtp mutant and mtp-complemented strains, and validated with results generated by real-time quantitative PCR. Results: A total of 28 metabolites were found to be significantly altered when comparing the ∆mtp mutant and the wild-type strains indicating a decreased utilisation of metabolites in cell wall biogenesis, a reduced efficiency in the breakdown of fatty acids, and decreased amino acid biosynthesis in the former strain. Comparison of the wild-type to mtp-complement, and ∆mtp to mtp-complemented strains revealed 10 and 16 metabolite differences, respectively. Real-time quantitative PCR results supported the metabolomics findings. Complementation of the ∆mtp mutant resulted in a partial restoration of MTP function. Conclusion: The lack of the MTP adhesin resulted in various bacterial cell wall alterations and related metabolic changes. This study highlights the importance of MTP as a virulence factor and further substantiates its potential use as a suitable biomarker for the development of diagnostic tools and intervention therapeutics against TB.
... The recombinant strain of the three sRNAs all showed a significant change in the growth rate (not obviously for ncBCG343), small colonies, and different biofilm-forming abilities, which were all associated with the virulence of the bacterium (Ramsugit and Pillay, 2014;Cardona, 2018), confirming that ncBCG201, ncBCG343, and ncMTB224 have potential regulating pathogenesis ability. In addition, all three RNAs changed the drug resistance ability, indicating that they may be also targeted in some genes associated with drug resistance. ...
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Mycobacteria encounter a number of environmental changes during infection and respond using different mechanisms. Small RNA (sRNA) is a post-transcriptionally regulatory system for gene functions and has been investigated in many other bacteria. This study used Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) infection models and sequenced whole bacterial RNAs before and after host cell infection. A comparison of differentially expressed sRNAs using Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and target prediction was carried out. Six pathogenically relevant stress conditions, growth rate, and morphology were used to screen and identify sRNAs. From these data, a subset of sRNAs was differentially expressed in multiple infection groups and stress conditions. Many were found associated with lipid metabolism. Among them, ncBCG427 was significantly downregulated when BCG entered into macrophages and was associated with increased biofilm formation. The reduction of virulence possibility depends on regulating lipid metabolism.
... Cells were activated with 200 ng/ml PMA for 10 min prior to infection with indicated mycobacterial strains at a MOI of 10. The selected time point was efficient to assess mycobacterial adherence to and invasion of macrophages(Ang et al., 2014;Ramsugit & Pillay, 2014 ...
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Mycobacterium tuberculosis adhesins are surface-exposed molecules that mediate pathogen-host interaction, a fundamental step towards host infection. Here we show that serine protease (Rv3194c) promotes mycobacterial infection to lung epithelial through its hyaluronic acid (HA)-binding site. Both enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and surface plasmon resonance analysis revealed that Rv3194c bound to HA. Utilizing synthetic peptides, we next defined HA-binding site of 20 amino acids from 91 to 110 of Rv3194c (P91-110). Immunofluorescence assay and an FACScan showed that Rv3194c was interacted with A549 cells (human lung epithelial cells), and its interaction was abolished by the addition of hyaluronidase or P91-110. Experimental infection in Vitro revealed that Rv3194c participates in attachment of recombinant Mycobacterium smegmatis (Rv3194c/MS) to A549 cells, and P91-110 treatment of A549 cells almost inhibited Rv3194c/MS-A549 cells interaction. To provide in vivo evidence, we constructed a reporter strain of M. smegmatis expressed a derivative of the firefly luciferase that is shifted to red (FFlucRT) in combination with Rv3194c (Rv3194c+FFlucRT/MS) to infect the rodents and monitor the progression of the disease. Using bioluminescence imaging and bacterial counts in lung tissue confirmed that Rv3194c dramatically enhanced the persistence of M. smegmatis . In addition, treatment of intratracheal Rv3194c+FFlucRT/MS-infected mice with P91-110 significantly suppressed the growth of Rv3194c+FFlucRT/MS in vivo . Taken together, these results demonstrate that Rv3194c was identified as a novel adhesin, and P91-110 has potential for therapeutic and prophylactic interventions in mycobacterial infection.
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Adhesins are virulence factors expressed on the surfaces of pathogenic bacteria that mediate pathogen-host interactions, a critical step in the infection process. Here, we show that the Mycobacterium tuberculosis protease Rv3194c functions not only as an enzyme but as an adhesin. The heterologous Rv3194c protein was purified from Escherichia coli and was shown to bind to hyaluronic acid (HA). The HA-binding site was identified as a 20 amino acid peptide between residues 91 and 110 (P91-110). Rv3194c bound to A549 alveolar basal epithelial cells and the interaction was abolished by the addition of hyaluronidase or P91-110. Experimental infection in vitro revealed that Rv3194c participates in the attachment of recombinant Mycobacterium smegmatis (Rv3194c/MS) to A549 cells, and P91-110 treatment of A549 cells largely inhibited the Rv3194c/MS-A549 cell interaction. To provide in vivo evidence, we constructed a reporter strain of M. smegmatis that expressed a derivative of the firefly luciferase that is shifted to red (FFlucRT) in combination with Rv3194c (Rv3194c + FFlucRT/MS) to infect mice and monitor the progression of the disease. In mice, Rv3194c dramatically enhanced M. smegmatis persistence and induced lesions in the lungs. In addition, treatment of intratracheal Rv3194c + FFlucRT/MS- infected mice with P91-110 significantly suppressed the growth of Rv3194c + FFlucRT/MS in vivo and reduced pathological injury caused by infection of the lung with Rv3194c + FFlucRT/MS. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Rv3194c functions as an HA-binding adhesin and that P91-110 may have the potential for treating and preventing mycobacterial infection.
Preprint
Mycobacteria would encounter a number of environment changes during infection, and respond to it using different mechanisms. sRNA is a posttranscriptionally regulatory system for the function of genes and has been investigated in many other bacteria. Here, we used Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis BCG infection models and sequenced the whole bacterial RNAs before and after host cells infection. Comparison of differential expressed sRNAs, by using GO and KEGG, and target predication, was carried out. Six pathogenically relevant stresses, drug resistance test, growth rate and morphology were used for screening and identify sRNAs. From these data, we identified a subset of sRNAs that are differentially expressed in multiple infection groups and stress conditions. We found that many of them were associated with lipid metabolism. Among them, ncBCG427, was significantly down-regulated when BCG entered into macrophages, and was associated with increase of biofilm formation and changed in drug susceptibility. Then, reduction of virulence possibility depends on regulating lipid metabolism.
Article
Mycolyl-arabinogalactan-peptidoglycan (mAGP) is the major content of the mycobacterium cell wall structure and essential for mycobacterial survival. Peptidoglycan (PG) plays an important role in maintenance of cell division, cell wall integrity and pathogenesis. Mycobacterium smegmatis MSMEG_6281, a peptidoglycan amidase, is vital for mycobacterial cell division. However, the effects of MSMEG_6281on cell wall integrity and mycobacterial virulence remain unknown. In the current study, we demonstrate that MSMEG_6281gene knockout in M.smegmatis alters the microbiological characteristics. Our results revealed that MSMEG_6281gene knockout bacteria (M. sm-ΔM_6281) lost their acid-fastness, increased their sensitivity to lipophilic compounds and presented an abnormal morphology. Our results revealed that MSMEG_6281was related to maintaining the cell wall integrity. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of MSMEG_6281 inactivation on mycobacterial virulence using mice models infected by different M.smegmatis strains. MSMEG_6281 inactivation in the M sm-ΔM_6281 infected group caused less mycobacterial colonization, reduced pathological signs, decreased the anti-microbial enzymes production including iNOS and β-defensins in mouse lungs. Moreover, IL-1β and TLR2 expression were significantly down-regulated, while the production of IFN-γ and TNF-α was up-regulated. These findings indicated the diversity of host immune responses induced by different strains of M.smegmatis, suggesting that MSMEG_6281 inactivation impact mycobacterial virulence. In conclusion, the MSMEG_6281 protein plays important roles in maintaining cell wall integrity and mycobacterial virulence.
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Bacteria commonly expose non-flagellar proteinaceous appendages on their outer surfaces. These extracellular structures, called pill or fimbriae, are employed in attachment and invasion, biofilm formation, cell motility or protein and DNA transport across membranes. Over the past 15 years, the power of molecular and structural techniques has revolutionalized our understanding of the biogenesis, structure, function and mode of action of these bacterial organelles. Here, we review the five known classes of Gram-negative non-flagellar appendages from a biosynthetic and structural point of view.
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During initial infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, bacteria that reach the distal airspaces of the lung are phagocytosed by alveolar macrophages in the presence of pulmonary surfactant. Here we have examined the role of surfactant-associated protein A (SP-A) in phagocytosis of the virulent Erdman strain of M. tuberculosis by human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) and human alveolar macrophages (HAMs). Macrophage monolayers incubated with soluble SP-A from alveolar proteinosis patients (APP SP-A4) and recombinant rat SP-A (SP-Ahyp) demonstrated enhanced adherence of M. tuberculosis, 82 +/- 17% and 49 +/- 18%, respectively. Removal of SP-A from monolayers by washing before adding bacteria did not diminish the enhanced adherence. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated that washed monolayers contained intracellular rather than surface-bound SP-A. These studies indicated a direct interaction between SP-A and the macrophage in mediating enhanced adherence of M. tuberculosis. Consistent with this interpretation, macrophage monolayers formed on human or rat SP-A (substrate SP-A) demonstrated enhanced adherence of M. tuberculosis to their apical surface (APP SP-A and native rat SP-A increased M. tuberculosis adherence by 102 +/- 16% and 102 +/- 25%, respectively). Electron microscopy demonstrated increased numbers of phagocytosed bacteria in APP SP-A-treated MDM cross-sections. SP-A proteins devoid of carbohydrate failed to enhance M. tuberculosis adherence to macrophages. In contrast, heat-denatured APP SP-A enhanced adherence of bacteria equivalent to that of intact glycoprotein. Thus, the carbohydrate moieties of SP-A appear to be critical in the SP-A-macrophage interaction. Finally, mannan and anti-mannose receptor Ab completely inhibited the enhanced phagocytosis of M. tuberculosis observed with APP SP-A, providing evidence for up-regulation of macrophage mannose receptor activity. These studies implicate SP-A as an important modulator of alveolar macrophage function that results in an enhanced potential for M. tuberculosis to gain access to its intracellular niche.
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Adherence to mammalian host tissues is an important virulence trait in microbial pathogenesis, yet little is known about the adherence mechanisms of mycobacteria. Here, we show that binding of mycobacteria to epithelial cells but not to macrophages can be specifically inhibited by sulfated carbohydrates. Using heparin-Sepharose chromatography, a 28-kD heparin-binding protein was purified from culture supernatants and cell extracts of Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This protein, designated heparin-binding hemagglutinin (HBHA), promotes the agglutination of rabbit erythrocytes, which is specifically inhibited by sulfated carbohydrates. HBHA also induce mycobacterial aggregation, suggesting that it can mediate bacteria-bacteria interactions as well. Hemagglutination, mycobacterial aggregation, as well as attachment to epithelial cells are specifically inhibited in the presence of anti-HBHA antibodies. Immunoelectron microscopy using anti-HBHA monoclonal antibodies revealed that the protein is surface exposed, consistent with a role in adherence. Immunoblot analyses using antigen-specific antibodies indicated that HBHA is different from the fibronectin-binding proteins of the antigen 85 complex and p55, and comparison of the NH2-terminal amino acid sequence of purified HBHA with the protein sequence data bases did not reveal any significant similarity with other known proteins. Sera from tuberculosis patients but not from healthy individuals were found to recognize HBHA, indicating its immunogenicity in humans during mycobacterial infections. Identification of putative mycobacterial adhesins, such as the one described in this report, may provide the basis for the development of new therapeutic and prophylactic strategies against mycobacterial diseases.
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Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin produce a heparin-binding hemagglutinin adhesin (HBHA) required for extrapulmonary dissemination and a laminin-binding protein (LBP) involved in cytoadherence through laminin recognition. These adhesins bear posttranslational modifications that are not present when the proteins are produced in a recombinant (r) form in Escherichia coli. Mass spectrometry analysis of HBHA revealed that the posttranslational modifications are borne by the C-terminal moiety, which comprises the heparin-binding domain made of repeated lysine-rich motifs. Amino acid sequencing showed that these modifications consist of mono- and dimethyllysines within these motifs. The methyllysine-containing repeats were recognized by mAb 4057D2 and were also detected in LBP, which is equally recognized by mAb 4057D2. This Ab does not recognize the recombinant forms of these proteins. However, when rHBHA and rLBP were subjected to NaBH(4) and formalin treatment to induce lysine methylation, reactivity with mAb 4057D2 was recovered. Methylated rHBHA displayed enhanced resistance to proteolysis compared with rHBHA, as previously observed for native HBHA. S-adenosylmethionine-dependent HBHA methyltransferase activity was detected in the cell-wall fractions of M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin and of Mycobacterium smegmatis, a species that produces LBP but naturally lacks hbhA, suggesting that the same enzyme(s) methylate(s) both LBP and HBHA. This hypothesis was confirmed by the fact that HBHA produced by recombinant M. smegmatis was also methylated. These results show that mycobacteria use enzymatic methylation of lysines to ensure greater stability of their adhesins.
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Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, is a facultative intracellular pathogen that infects macrophages and other host cells. We show that sonication of M. tuberculosis results in the removal of material from the surface capsule-like layer of the bacteria, resulting in an enhanced propensity of the bacteria to bind to macrophages. This effect is observed with disparate murine and human macrophage populations though, interestingly, not with freshly explanted alveolar macrophages. Enhanced binding to macrophages following sonication is significantly greater within members of the M. tuberculosis family (pathogens) than within the Mycobacterium avium complex (opportunistic pathogens) or for Mycobacterium smegmatis (saprophyte). Sonication does not affect the viability or the surface hydrophobicity of M. tuberculosis but does result in changes in surface charge and in the binding of mannose-specific lectins to the bacterial surface. The increased binding of sonicated M. tuberculosis was not mediated through complement receptor 3. These results provide evidence that the surface capsule on members of the M. tuberculosis family may be an important virulence factor involved in the survival of M. tuberculosis in the mammalian host. They also question the view that M. tuberculosis is readily ingested by any macrophage it encounters and support the contention that M. tuberculosis, like many other microbial pathogens, has an antiphagocytic capsule that limits and controls the interaction of the bacterium with macrophages.
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Most bacterial pathogens have long filamentous structures known as pili or fimbriae extending from their surface. These structures are often involved in the initial adhesion of the bacteria to host tissues during colonization. In gram-negative bacteria, pili are typically formed by non-covalent interactions between pilin subunits. By contrast, the recently discovered pili in gram-positive pathogens are formed by covalent polymerization of adhesive pilin subunits. Evidence from studies of pili in the three principal streptococcal pathogens of humans indicates that the genes that encode the pilin subunits and the enzymes that are required for the assembly of these subunits into pili have been acquired en bloc by the horizontal transfer of a pathogenicity island.
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Tuberculosis is still a major health problem, and understanding the mechanism by which Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) invades and colonizes its host target cells remains an important issue for the control of infection. The innate immune system C-type lectins (C-TLs), including the human pulmonary surfactant protein A (PSP-A), have been recently identified as determinant players in the early recognition of the invading pathogen and in mounting the host defense response. Although the antigenic lipoglycan mannosylated lipoarabinomannan is currently considered to be the major C-TL target on the mycobacterial surface, the recognition by some C-TLs of the only mycobacterial species composing the "Mtb complex" indicates that mannosylated lipoarabinomannan cannot account alone for this specificity. Thus, we searched for the mycobacterial molecules targeted by human PSP-A, focusing our attention on the Mtb surface glycoproteins. We developed an original functional proteomic approach based on a lectin blot assay using crude human bronchoalveolar lavage fluid as a source of physiological PSP-A. Combined with selective cell-surface protein extraction and mass spectrometry peptide mapping, this strategy allowed us to identify the Apa (alanine- and proline-rich antigenic) glycoprotein as new potential target for PSP-A. This result was supported by direct binding of PSP-A to purified Apa. Moreover, EDTA addition or deglycosylation of purified Apa samples completely abolished the interaction, demonstrating that the interaction is calcium- and mannose-dependent, as expected. Finally, we provide convincing evidence that Apa, formerly considered as mainly secreted, is associated with the cell wall for a sufficiently long time to aid in the attachment of PSP-A. Because, to date, Apa seems to be restricted to the Mtb complex strains, we propose that it may account for the selective recognition of those strains by PSP-A and other immune system C-TLs containing homologous functional domains.
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Mycobacterium tuberculosis is responsible for nearly 3 million human deaths worldwide every year. Understanding the mechanisms and bacterial factors responsible for the ability of M. tuberculosis to cause disease in humans is critical for the development of improved treatment strategies. Many bacterial pathogens use pili as adherence factors to colonize the host. We discovered that M. tuberculosis produces fine (2- to 3-nm-wide), aggregative, flexible pili that are recognized by IgG antibodies contained in sera obtained from patients with active tuberculosis, indicating that the bacilli produce pili or pili-associated antigen during human infection. Purified M. tuberculosis pili (MTP) are composed of low-molecular-weight protein subunits encoded by the predicted M. tuberculosis H37Rv ORF, designated Rv3312A. MTP bind to the extracellular matrix protein laminin in vitro, suggesting that MTP possess adhesive properties. Isogenic mtp mutants lost the ability to produce Mtp in vitro and demonstrated decreased laminin-binding capabilities. MTP shares morphological, biochemical, and functional properties attributed to bacterial pili, especially with curli amyloid fibers. Thus, we propose that MTP are previously unidentified host-colonization factors of M. tuberculosis. • adherence • antigen • laminin • amyloid
Article
Organized bacterial communities, or biofilms, provide an important reservoir for persistent cells that are inaccessible or tolerant to antibiotics. Curli pili are cell-surface structures produced by certain bacteria and have been implicated in biofilm formation in these species. In order to determine whether these structures, which were suggested to be encoded by the Rv3312A (mtp) gene, have a similar role in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we generated a Δmtp mutant and a mtp-complemented strain of a clinical isolate of M. tuberculosis and analyzed these strains for their ability to produce pili in comparison to the wild-type strain. Phenotypic analysis by transmission electron microscopy proved the essentiality of mtp for piliation in M. tuberculosis. We then compared biofilm formation of the derived strains in detergent-free Sauton's media. Biofilm mass was quantified spectrophotometrically using crystal violet. Furthermore, we examined mtp gene expression by quantitative real-time PCR in wild-type cells grown under biofilm versus planktonic growth conditions. We found a 68.4 % reduction in biofilm mass in the mutant compared to the wild-type strain (P = 0.002). Complementation of the mutant resulted in a restoration of the wild-type biofilm phenotype (P = 0.022). We, however, found no significant difference between mtp expression in cells of the biofilm to those growing planktonically. Our findings highlight a crucial, but non-specific, role of pili in the biofilm lifestyle of M. tuberculosis and indicate that they may represent an important target for the development of therapeutics to attenuate biofilm formation, thereby potentially reducing persistence.
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Accumulated evidence to date confirms the importance of the C3-CR pathway in the phagocytosis of pathogenic mycobacteria. Detailed receptor-ligand studies for phagocytosis are creating the framework to test the hypothesis that the entry pathway for these bacteria influences the immediate host cell response and their intracellular fate. These types of study are particularly important for improving our understanding of the outcome of primary infection in humans, where the number of bacilli is presumed to be very low.
Article
We have examined the published work of investigators which dealt with the pathogenesis of tuberculosis, especially the following: the infective dose, the yield of bacilli from the primary lesion and primary complex, the predominant location of the minimal lesion, the hypotheses of a vulnerable region in the lung and the specific pathways (endogenous or exogenous) by which tubercle bacilli cause disease. More knowledge of the pathogenic pathway to tuberculosis would provide clues to the development of new vaccines and drug regimens that can intervene at a specific stage in the pathogenesis.
Article
We have examined macrophage receptors that mediate phagocytosis of virulent strains (Erdman and H37Rv) and an attenuated strain (H37Ra) of the intracellular pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Adherence of the three strains to monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) is markedly enhanced (>threefold) in the presence of low levels of fresh serum and requires heat-labile serum components because heat inactivation of serum reduces adherence by 65 +/- 5 to 71 +/- 2%. In the presence and absence of serum, adherence of the three strains to MDM is comparable. By electron microscopy, all bacteria are ingested and reside in phagosomes. C receptors (CR) play an important role in adherence of the three strains to MDM in the presence and absence of serum. mAb against CR1, CR3, and CR4 inhibit adherence of Erdman M. tuberculosis in fresh serum by 75 +/- 3% and inhibit the low level of adherence of Erdman (71 +/- 13%), H37Rv (72 +/- 1%), and H37Ra (64 +/- 14%) M. tuberculosis in the absence of serum. Mannose receptors (MR) play an important role in mediating macrophage adherence of the virulent strains but not the attenuated strain of M. tuberculosis. Preincubation of MDM with soluble mannan or mannose-BSA consistently and significantly inhibits adherence of Erdman and H37Rv (up to 60 +/- 7%) but not H37Ra (0 +/- 1 to 5 +/- 5% enhancement of adherence) in the absence of serum. Down-modulation of macrophage MR on mannan substrates inhibits adherence of Erdman (52 +/- 8%) and H37Rv (55 +/- 6%) but not H37Ra (2 +/- 2% enhancement of adherence). Preincubation of MDM with soluble N-acetylglucosamine-BSA also significantly inhibits adherence of the virulent strains (42 +/- 3%). Preincubation of MDM with glucose-BSA minimally inhibits adherence of the three strains (2 +/- 4 to 12 +/- 5%). Anti-MR antibody inhibits adherence of Erdman (57 +/- 2%) and H37Rv (44 +/- 4%) but not H37Ra (4 +/- 5% enhancement of adherence). Inhibition of adherence of zymosan was comparable with that seen with virulent strains of M. tuberculosis in these studies. Down-modulation of macrophage MR also inhibits adherence of Erdman (48 +/- 9%) and H37Rv (20 +/- 2%) in the presence of serum. Simultaneous blockade of MR and CR does not further inhibit adherence of the virulent M. tuberculosis strains over that seen with blocking CR alone.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Article
Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives and replicates within human macrophages, but the mechanisms whereby tubercle bacilli resist killing are incompletely understood. We tested the general model in which M. tuberculosis evades killing by entering naive macrophages through receptors that are unable to activate cellular microbicidal activities. Complement receptor types 1 (CR1), 3 (CR3), and 4 (CR4) were blocked with monoclonal antibodies, and mannose receptors were blocked with a competitive ligand, mannosylated bovine serum albumin (MBSA). Survival and replication of M. tuberculosis (Erdman) were evaluated after the bacteria were phagocytosed in the presence of blocking agents (directing binding to the unblocked receptors). Although there was significant variation in the growth rate of virulent M. tuberculosis in monocyte-derived macrophages from different donors, the intracellular survival and replication of mycobacteria were equivalent regardless of the receptor(s) used for binding and phagocytosis. We conclude that the mechanisms whereby M. tuberculosis evades killing by human macrophages are independent of the receptor-mediated route of entry, and operate at one or more steps common to all entry pathways. Blocking complement and mannose receptors in combination did not completely abrogate binding of M. tuberculosis to macrophages. However, we found that two polyanionic scavenger-receptor ligands exhibited a concentration-dependent ability to block binding of M. tuberculosis to macrophages. Moreover, blocking class A scavenger receptors abrogated nearly all binding that persisted after blocking complement and mannose receptors. This indicates that class A scavenger receptors are quantitatively important mediators of M. tuberculosis-macrophage interactions. M. tuberculosis has evolved multiple mechanisms to promote its efficient entry into macrophages. This suggests that passage of the organism through macrophages may be an essential early step in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis.
Article
Tuberculosis remains the world's leading cause of death due to a single infectious agent, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, with 3 million deaths and 10 million new cases per year. The infection initiates in the lungs and can then spread rapidly to other tissues. The availability of the entire M. tuberculosis genome sequence and advances in gene disruption technologies have led to the identification of several mycobacterial determinants involved in virulence. However, no virulence factor specifically involved in the extrapulmonary dissemination of M. tuberculosis has been identified to date. Here we show that the disruption of the M. tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) hbhA gene encoding the heparin-binding haemagglutinin adhesin (HBHA) markedly affects mycobacterial interactions with epithelial cells, but not with macrophage-like cells. When nasally administered to mice, the mutant strains were severely impaired in spleen colonization, but not in lung colonization. Coating wild-type mycobacteria with anti-HBHA antibodies also impaired dissemination after intranasal infection. These results provide evidence that adhesins such as HBHA are required for extrapulmonary dissemination, and that interactions with non-phagocytic cells have an important role in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis. They also suggest that antibody responses to HBHA may add to immune protection against tuberculosis.
Article
The cytological response to the ingestion of tubercle bacilli by cultured mouse peritoneal macrophages has been studied by electron microscopy. Methods included a quantitative assessment based on systematic surveying of cell profiles, and of phagosomes and their contained bacteria, encountered in thin sections; classification of the sectioned bacteria into visibly damaged and apparently intact categories; prelabeling of dense granules (secondary lysosomes) with ferritin as an aid to identifying the occurrence and frequency of phagosome-lysosome fusion; and monitoring of bacterial growth and viability by light microscopy and cultural counts. The situations studied were as follows: progressive infection with the multiplying virulent strain H37Rv; ingestion of the same strain previously inactivated by gamma radiation; infection with an attenuated strain (BCG); and a stabilized virulent infection induced by the surfactant Macrocyclon. In the bacterial suspensions used routinely for inoculation, about half the bacilli were viable, matching closely the proportions of intact and damaged organisms identified with the electron microscope. In the inoculated macrophages, some phagosomes containing intact bacilli and others containing damaged bacilli were always to be found; but the proportion of organisms scored as damaged increased, and that of intact organisms decreased, in situations where the population as a whole had been rendered nonviable before inoculation, or where they became so intracellularly as in the late stages of a BCG infection. Evidence of fusion of ferritin-marked lysosomes with some bacterium-containing phagosomes was obtained in all experiments, but a significant difference was regularly observed according to whether the bacilli were damaged or intact. Virtually all phagosomes containing damaged bacilli showed signs of fusion; but when many phagosomes were present containing apparently intact organisms (as with actively multiplying strain H37Rv or with this strain held at a steady level of viability by Macrocyclon, and also with strain BCG at an early stage of that infection), signs of fusion of lysosomes with these phagosomes were infrequent. From these findings it is inferred that intracellular survival of M. tuberculosis in cultured macrophages is associated with a tendency to nonfusion of dense granules with the phagosome, thus avoiding direct exposure of the bacilli to the contents of these organelles. It is suggested, further, that fusion of dense granules with the phagosome, leading to digestion, is determined by recognition of the bacillus as nonviable. The possibility is discussed that the cytological response to different mycobacterial infections may reflect differences of a basic nature between facultative and obligate intracellular parasitism.
Article
Identification of mycobacterial adhesins is needed to understand better the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and to develop new strategies to fight this infection. In this work, THP-1 monocytic cells were incubated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture filtrate proteins labelled with biotin and a dominant 19-kDa adhesin was found. This adhesin was characterized as the glycosylated and acylated 19-kDa antigen (Rv 3763). These findings were confirmed in assays with culture filtrate proteins and cell-wall fractions from a recombinant Mycobacterium smegmatis strain that overexpresses the 19-kDa antigen. Further, fluorescent microspheres coated with recombinant culture filtrate proteins adhere to cells in higher numbers than microspheres coated with native M. smegmatis proteins. The binding of the 19-kDa antigen to cells was inhibited with mannose receptor competitor sugars, Ca(2+) chelators and with a monoclonal antibody to the human mannose receptor. Phagocytosis assays showed high-level binding of bacilli to THP-1 cells that was inhibited with alpha-methyl-mannoside, mannan, EDTA and mAbs to the mannose receptor and to the 19-kDa M. tuberculosis antigen. Immunoprecipitation, cell-surface ELISA and immunostaining confirmed the expression of the mannose receptor by THP-1 cells. In conclusion, here we show that the macrophage mannose receptor, considered a pathogen pattern recognition receptor, may interact with mannose residues of mycobacterial glycoproteins that could promote the phagocytosis of mycobacteria.
Article
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) uses the glyoxalate bypass for intracellular survival in vivo. These studies provide evidence that the M. tb malate synthase (MS) has adapted to function as an adhesin which binds to laminin and fibronectin. This binding is achieved via the unique C-terminal region of the M. tb MS. The ability to function as an adhesin necessitates extracellular localization. We provide evidence that despite the absence of a Sec-translocation signal sequence the M. tb MS is secreted/excreted, and is anchored on the cell wall by an undefined mechanism. The MS of Mycobacterium smegmatis is cytoplasmic but the M. tb MS expressed in M. smegmatis localizes to the cell wall and enhances the adherence of the bacteria to lung epithelial A549 cells. Antibodies to the C-terminal laminin/fibronectin-binding domain interfere with the binding of the M. tb MS to laminin and fibronectin and reduce the adherence of M. tb to A549 cells. Coupled to the earlier evidence of in vivo expression of M. tb MS during active but not latent infection in humans, these studies show that a housekeeping enzyme of M. tb contributes to its armamentarium of virulence promoting factors.
Article
Bacteria attach to their appropriate environmental niche by using adhesins. To maximize their contact with the environment, adhesins are often present on the ends of long hairlike structures called pili. Recently, attention has focused on pili of Gram-positive bacteria because they may be vaccine candidates in important human pathogens. These pili differ from the well-studied pili of Gram-negative bacteria because their subunits are covalently linked, they do not require specific chaperones for assembly, and the tip protein (likely to be the adhesin) is not required to initiate formation of the pilus structure. In Gram-positive bacteria, the genes for pili occur in clusters, which may constitute mobile genetic elements. These clusters include the transpeptidase(s) of the sortase family that is/are required for polymerization of the subunit proteins. However, efficient covalent attachment of the completed pilus structure to the cell wall is accomplished, in cases where this has been studied, by the 'housekeeping' sortase, which is responsible for attachment to the peptidoglycan of most surface proteins containing cell wall sorting signals. This enzyme is encoded elsewhere on the genome. Because pili of Gram-positive bacteria have not been extensively investigated yet, we hope that this MicroReview will help to pinpoint the areas most in need of further study.