How to Polymerize in Order to Survive

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA.
Immunity (Impact Factor: 21.56). 06/2009; 30(5):668-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2009.04.004
Source: PubMed


Perforation of membranes and pore formation is mediated by polymerization of proteins of the immune system, complement C9 and Perforin, which share the conserved MACPF domain. In this issue of Immunity, Baran et al. (2009) identify the molecular mechanism initiating polymerization as charge interactions in the MACPF domain.

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    ABSTRACT: The serum resistance of the common respiratory pathogen Moraxella catarrhalis is mainly dependent on ubiquitous surface proteins (Usp) A1 and A2 that interact with complement factor 3 (C3) and complement inhibitor C4b binding protein (C4BP) preventing the alternative and classical pathways of the complement system respectively. UspA2 also has the capacity to attract vitronectin that in turn binds C9 and hereby inhibits membrane attack complex (MAC) formation. We found UspA2 as a major vitronectin binding protein and hence the UspA2/vitronectin interaction was studied in detail. The affinity constant (K(D)) for vitronectin binding to UspA2 was 2.3 x 10(-8) M, and the N-terminal region encompassing residues UspA2 30-170 bound vitronectin with a K(D) of 7.9 x 10(-8) M. Electron microscopy verified that the active binding domain (UspA2(30-177)) was located at the head region of UspA2. Experiments with recombinantly expressed vitronectin also revealed that UspA2(30-177) bound to the C-terminal region of vitronectin residues 312-396. Finally, when human serum was pre-incubated with UspA2, bacteria showed significantly less serum resistance. Our study directly reveals the binding mode between the N-terminal domain of UspA2 and the C-terminal part of vitronectin and thus sheds light upon the mechanism of M. catarrhalis-dependent serum resistance.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Molecular Microbiology

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    ABSTRACT: The membrane attack complex and perforin (MACPF) superfamily is one of the largest families of pore-forming molecules. Although MACPF proteins are able to destruct invading microbes, several MACPF proteins play roles in embryonic development, neural migration or tumor suppression. We describe two apextrin-like proteins (ApelB and ApelP) and one MACPF-domain-containing protein (Macp) in Mytilus galloprovincialis. The two apextrin-like proteins did not present any conserved domain. The Macp protein contained the membrane/attack complex domain and its signature motif. Gene expression during larval development was analyzed by RT-PCR. There was a stage-specific up-regulation of the three proteins, suggesting that they play a role in development. Apextrin-like proteins were highly expressed at blastula and trochophore stage, whereas Macp was expressed at veliger stage. RT-PCR revealed up-regulation of the three genes in tissues and hemocytes from adults treated with bacteria and pathogen-associated molecular patterns, suggesting that they may be involved in the immune response.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2011 · Developmental and comparative immunology
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