Microb Pathog. 2016 Oct;99:209-219. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2016.08.029. Epub 2016 Aug 26.

The effects of differences in pspA alleles and capsular types on the resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniaeto killing by apolactoferrin.

Mirza S1, Benjamin WH Jr2, Coan PA3, Hwang SA4, Winslett AK5, Yother J5, Hollingshead SK5, Fujihashi K6, Briles DE7.

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Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) is the only pneumococcal surface protein known to strongly bind lactoferrin on the bacterial surface. In the absence of PspA Streptococcus pneumoniae becomes more susceptible to killing by human apolactoferrin (apo-hLf), the iron-free form of lactoferrin. In the present study we examined diverse strains of S. pneumoniae that differed by 2 logs in their susceptibility to apo-hLf. Among these strains, the amount of apo-hLf that bound to cell surface PspA correlated directly with the resistance of the strain to killing by apo-hLf. Moreover examination of different pspA alleles on shared genetic backgrounds revealed that those PspAs that bound more lactoferrin conferred greater resistance to killing by apo-hLf. The effects of capsule on killing of pneumococci by apo-hLf were generally small, but on one genetic background, however, the lack of capsule was associated with 4-times as much apo-hLf binding and 30-times more resistance to killing by apo-hLf. Overall these finding strongly support the hypothesis that most of the variation in the ability of apo-hLf is dependent on the variation in the binding of apo-hLf to surface PspA and this binding is dependent on variation in PspA as well as variation in capsule which may enhance killing by reducing the binding of apo-hLf to PspA.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.

PMID: 27569531 DOI: 10.1016/j.micpath.2016.08.029

[PubMed - in process]