Host and pathogen glycosaminoglycan-binding proteins modulate antimicrobial peptide responses

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Wang, Zhipeng
Flax, Lindsay A.
Kemp, Melissa M.
Linhardt, Robert J.
Baron, Miriam J.
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Biology , Chemistry and chemical biology , Chemical and biological engineering , Biomedical engineering
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During group B streptococcal infection, the alpha C protein (ACP) on the bacterial surface binds to host cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) and facilitates entry of bacteria into human epithelial cells. Previous studies in a Drosophila melanogaster model showed that binding of ACP to the sulfated polysaccharide chains (glycosaminoglycans) of HSPGs promotes host death and is associated with higher bacterial burdens. We hypothesized that ACP-glycosaminoglycan binding might determine infection outcome by altering host responses to infection, such as expression of antimicrobial peptides. As glycosaminoglycans/HSPGs also interact with a number of endogenous secreted signaling molecules in Drosophila, we examined the effects of host and pathogen glycosaminoglycan/HSPG-binding structures in host survival of infection and antimicrobial peptide expression. Strikingly, host survival after infection with wild-type streptococci was enhanced among flies overexpressing the endogenous glycosaminoglycan/HSPG-binding morphogen Decapentaplegic-a transforming growth factor β-like Drosophila homolog of mammalian bone morphogenetic proteins-but not by flies overexpressing a mutant, non-glycosaminoglycan-binding Decapentaplegic, or the other endogenous glycosaminoglycan/HSPG-binding morphogens, Hedgehog and Wingless. While ACP-glycosaminoglycan binding was associated with enhanced transcription of peptidoglycan recognition proteins and antimicrobial peptides, Decapentaplegic overexpression suppressed transcription of these genes during streptococcal infection. Further, the glycosaminoglycan-binding domain of ACP competed with Decapentaplegic for binding to the soluble glycosaminoglycan heparin in an in vitro assay. These data suggest that, in addition to promoting bacterial entry into host cells, ACP competes with Decapentaplegic for binding to glycosaminoglycans/HSPGs during infection and that these bacterial and endogenous glycosaminoglycan-binding structures determine host survival and regulate antimicrobial peptide transcription.
Infection and Immunity, 79, 606-616
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Host and pathogen glycosaminoglycan-binding proteins modulate antimicrobial peptide responses, Z. Wang, L. A. Flax, M. M. Kemp, R. J. Linhardt, M. J. Baron, Infection and Immunity, 79, 606-616, 2011.
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