- Identification and functional characterisation of Complement Regulator Acquiring Surface Protein-1 of serum resistant Borrelia garinii OspA serotype 4 (2010)
- Background: B. burgdorferi sensu lato (sl) is the etiological agent of Lyme borreliosis in humans. Spirochetes have adapted themselves to the human immune system in many distinct ways. One important immune escape mechanism for evading complement activation is the binding of complement regulators Factor H (CFH) or Factor H-like protein1 (FHL-1) to Complement Regulator-Acquiring Surface Proteins (CRASPs). Results: We demonstrate that B. garinii OspA serotype (ST4) PBi resist complement-mediated killing by binding of FHL-1. To identify the primary ligands of FHL-1 four CspA orthologs from B. garinii ST4 PBi were cloned and tested for binding to human CFH and FHL-1. Orthologs BGA66 and BGA71 were found to be able to bind both complement regulators but with different intensities. In addition, all CspA orthologs were tested for binding to mammalian and avian CFH. Distinct orthologs were able to bind to CFH of different animal origins. Conclusions: B. garinii ST4 PBi is able to evade complement killing and can bind FHL-1 to membrane expressed proteins. Recombinant proteins BGA66 can bind FHL-1 and human CFH, while BGA71 can bind only FHL-1. All recombinant CspA orthologs from B. garinii ST4 PBi can bind CFH from different animal origins. This partly explains the wide variety of animals that can be infected by B. garinii.
- Borrelia valaisiana resist complement-mediated killing independently of the recruitment of immune regulators and inactivation of complement components (2013)
- Spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi sensu lato complex differ in their resistance to complement-mediated killing, particularly in regard to human serum. In the present study, we elucidate the serum and complement susceptibility of B. valaisiana, a genospecies with the potential to cause Lyme disease in Europe as well as in Asia. Among the investigated isolates, growth of ZWU3 Ny3 was not affected while growth of VS116 and Bv9 was strongly inhibited in the presence of 50% human serum. Analyzing complement activation, complement components C3, C4 and C6 were deposited on the surface of isolates VS116 and Bv9, and similarly the membrane attack complex was formed on their surface. In contrast, no surface-deposited components and no aberrations in cell morphology were detected for serum-resistant ZWU3 Ny3. While further investigating the protective role of bound complement regulators in mediating complement resistance, we discovered that none of the B. valaisiana isolates analyzed bound complement regulators Factor H, Factor H-like protein 1, C4b binding protein or C1 esterase inhibitor. In addition, B. valaisiana also lacked intrinsic proteolytic activity to degrade complement components C3, C3b, C4, C4b, and C5. Taken together, these findings suggest that certain B. valaisiana isolates differ in their capability to resist complement-mediating killing by human serum. The molecular mechanism utilized by B. valaisiana to inhibit bacteriolysis appears not to involve binding of the key host complement regulators of the alternative, classical, and lectin pathways as already known for serum-resistant Lyme disease or relapsing fever borreliae.
- Contribution of the infection-associated complement regulator-acquiring surface protein 4 (ErpC) to complement resistance of Borrelia burgdorferi (2012)
- Borrelia burgdorferi evades complement-mediated killing by interacting with complement regulators through distinct complement regulator-acquiring surface proteins (CRASPs). Here, we extend our analyses to the contribution of CRASP-4 in mediating complement resistance of B. burgdorferi and its interaction with human complement regulators. CRASP-4 (also known as ErpC) was immobilized onto magnetic beads and used to capture proteins from human serum. Following Western blotting, factor H (CFH), CFH-related protein 1 (CFHR1), CFHR2, and CFHR5 were identified as ligands of CRASP-4. To analyze the impact of native CRASP-4 on mediating survival of serum-sensitive cells in human serum, a B. garinii strain was generated that ectopically expresses CRASP-4. CRASP-4-producing bacteria bound CFHR1, CFHR2, and CFHR5 but not CFH. In addition, transformed spirochetes deposited significant amounts of lethal complement components on their surface and were susceptible to human serum, thus indicating that CRASP-4 plays a subordinate role in complement resistance of B. burgdorferi.
- Borrelia recurrentis employs a novel multifunctional surface protein with anti-complement, anti-opsonic and invasive potential to escape innate immunity (2009)
- Borrelia recurrentis, the etiologic agent of louse-borne relapsing fever in humans, has evolved strategies, including antigenic variation, to evade immune defence, thereby causing severe diseases with high mortality rates. Here we identify for the first time a multifunctional surface lipoprotein of B. recurrentis, termed HcpA, and demonstrate that it binds human complement regulators, Factor H, CFHR-1, and simultaneously, the host protease plasminogen. Cell surface bound factor H was found to retain its activity and to confer resistance to complement attack. Moreover, ectopic expression of HcpA in a B. burgdorferi B313 strain, deficient in Factor H binding proteins, protected the transformed spirochetes from complement-mediated killing. Furthermore, HcpA-bound plasminogen/plasmin endows B. recurrentis with the potential to resist opsonization and to degrade extracellular matrix components. Together, the present study underscores the high virulence potential of B. recurrentis. The elucidation of the molecular basis underlying the versatile strategies of B. recurrentis to escape innate immunity and to persist in human tissues, including the brain, may help to understand the pathological processes underlying louse-borne relapsing fever.
- Leptospira interrogans endostatin-like outer membrane proteins bind host fibronectin, laminin and regulators of complement (2007)
- The pathogenic spirochete Leptospira interrogans disseminates throughout its hosts via the bloodstream, then invades and colonizes a variety of host tissues. Infectious leptospires are resistant to killing by their hosts' alternative pathway of complement-mediated killing, and interact with various host extracellular matrix (ECM) components. The LenA outer surface protein (formerly called LfhA and Lsa24) was previously shown to bind the host ECM component laminin and the complement regulators factor H and factor H-related protein-1. We now demonstrate that infectious L. interrogans contain five additional paralogs of lenA, which we designated lenB, lenC, lenD, lenE and lenF. All six genes encode domains predicted to bear structural and functional similarities with mammalian endostatins. Sequence analyses of genes from seven infectious L. interrogans serovars indicated development of sequence diversity through recombination and intragenic duplication. LenB was found to bind human factor H, and all of the newly-described Len proteins bound laminin. In addition, LenB, LenC, LenD, LenE and LenF all exhibited affinities for fibronectin, a distinct host extracellular matrix protein. These characteristics suggest that Len proteins together facilitate invasion and colonization of host tissues, and protect against host immune responses during mammalian infection.
- Staphylococcus aureus Proteins Sbi and Efb Recruit Human Plasmin to Degrade Complement C3 and C3b (2012)
- Upon host infection, the human pathogenic microbe Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) immediately faces innate immune reactions such as the activated complement system. Here, a novel innate immune evasion strategy of S. aureus is described. The staphylococcal proteins surface immunoglobulin-binding protein (Sbi) and extracellular fibrinogen-binding protein (Efb) bind C3/C3b simultaneously with plasminogen. Bound plasminogen is converted by bacterial activator staphylokinase or by host-specific urokinase-type plasminogen activator to plasmin, which in turn leads to degradation of complement C3 and C3b. Efb and to a lesser extend Sbi enhance plasmin cleavage of C3/C3b, an effect which is explained by a conformational change in C3/C3b induced by Sbi and Efb. Furthermore, bound plasmin also degrades C3a, which exerts anaphylatoxic and antimicrobial activities. Thus, S. aureus Sbi and Efb comprise platforms to recruit plasmin(ogen) together with C3 and its activation product C3b for efficient degradation of these complement components in the local microbial environment and to protect S. aureus from host innate immune reactions.
- Complement factor H-related proteins CFHR2 and CFHR5 represent novel ligands for the infection-associated CRASP proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi (2010)
- Background: One virulence property of Borrelia burgdorferi is its resistance to innate immunity, in particular to complement-mediated killing. Serum-resistant B. burgdorferi express up to five distinct complement regulator-acquiring surface proteins (CRASP) which interact with complement regulator factor H (CFH) and factor H-like protein 1 (FHL1) or factor H-related protein 1 (CFHR1). In the present study we elucidate the role of the infection-associated CRASP-3 and CRASP-5 protein to serve as ligands for additional complement regulatory proteins as well as for complement resistance of B. burgdorferi. Methodology/Principal Findings: To elucidate whether CRASP-5 and CRASP-3 interact with various human proteins, both borrelial proteins were immobilized on magnetic beads. Following incubation with human serum, bound proteins were eluted and separated by Glycine-SDS-PAGE. In addition to CFH and CFHR1, complement regulators CFHR2 and CFHR5 were identified as novel ligands for both borrelial proteins by employing MALDI-TOF. To further assess the contributions of CRASP-3 and CRASP-5 to complement resistance, a serum-sensitive B. garinii strain G1 which lacks all CFH-binding proteins was used as a valuable model for functional analyses. Both CRASPs expressed on the B. garinii outer surface bound CFH as well as CFHR1 and CFHR2 in ELISA. In contrast, live B. garinii bound CFHR1, CFHR2, and CFHR5 and only miniscute amounts of CFH as demonstrated by serum adsorption assays and FACS analyses. Further functional analysis revealed that upon NHS incubation, CRASP-3 or CRASP-5 expressing borreliae were killed by complement. Conclusions/Significance: In the absence of CFH and the presence of CFHR1, CFHR2 and CFHR5, assembly and integration of the membrane attack complex was not efficiently inhibited indicating that CFH in co-operation with CFHR1, CFHR2 and CFHR5 supports complement evasion of B. burgdorferi.
- Early production of IL-22 but not IL-17 by peripheral blood mononuclear cells exposed to live Borrelia burgdorferi: the role of monocytes and interleukin-1 (2010)
- If insufficiently treated, Lyme borreliosis can evolve into an inflammatory disorder affecting skin, joints, and the CNS. Early innate immunity may determine host responses targeting infection. Thus, we sought to characterize the immediate cytokine storm associated with exposure of PBMC to moderate levels of live Borrelia burgdorferi. Since Th17 cytokines are connected to host defense against extracellular bacteria, we focused on interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-22. Here, we report that, despite induction of inflammatory cytokines including IL-23, IL-17 remained barely detectable in response to B. burgdorferi. In contrast, T cell-dependent expression of IL-22 became evident within 10 h of exposure to the spirochetes. This dichotomy was unrelated to interferon-gamma but to a large part dependent on caspase-1 and IL-1 bioactivity derived from monocytes. In fact, IL-1beta as a single stimulus induced IL-22 but not IL-17. Neutrophils display antibacterial activity against B. burgdorferi, particularly when opsonized by antibodies. Since neutrophilic inflammation, indicative of IL-17 bioactivity, is scarcely observed in Erythema migrans, a manifestation of skin inflammation after infection, protective and antibacterial properties of IL-22 may close this gap and serve essential functions in the initial phase of spirochete infection.