Staphylococcus aureus Targets the Duffy Antigen Receptor for Chemokines (DARC) to Lyse Erythrocytes.
ABSTRACT: In order for Staphylococcus aureus to thrive inside the mammalian host, the bacterium has to overcome iron scarcity. S. aureus is thought to produce toxins that lyse erythrocytes, releasing hemoglobin, the most abundant iron source in mammals. Here we identify the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC) as the receptor for the S. aureus hemolytic leukocidins LukED and HlgAB. By assessing human erythrocytes with DARC polymorphisms, we determined that HlgAB- and LukED-mediated lysis directly relates to DARC expression. DARC is required for S. aureus-mediated lysis of human erythrocytes, and DARC overexpression is sufficient to render cells susceptible to toxin-mediated lysis. HlgA and LukE bind directly to DARC through different regions, and by targeting DARC, HlgAB and LukED support S. aureus growth in a hemoglobin-acquisition-dependent manner. These findings elucidate how S. aureus targets and lyses erythrocytes to release one of the scarcest nutrients within the mammalian host.
Project description:The pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus is thought to depend on the production of pore-forming leukocidins that kill leukocytes and lyse erythrocytes. Two leukocidins, Leukocidin ED (LukED) and ?-Hemolysin AB (HlgAB), are necessary and sufficient to kill mice upon infection and toxin challenge. We demonstrate that LukED and HlgAB cause vascular congestion and derangements in vascular fluid distribution that rapidly cause death in mice. The Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC) on endothelial cells, rather than leukocytes or erythrocytes, is the critical target for lethality. Consistent with this, LukED and HlgAB injure primary human endothelial cells in a DARC-dependent manner, and mice with DARC-deficient endothelial cells are resistant to toxin-mediated lethality. During bloodstream infection in mice, DARC targeting by S. aureus causes increased tissue damage, organ dysfunction, and host death. The potential for S. aureus leukocidins to manipulate vascular integrity highlights the importance of these virulence factors.
Project description:Leukocidin ED (LukED) is a bicomponent pore-forming toxin produced by Staphylococcus aureus that lyses host cells by targeting the chemokine receptors CC chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5), CXCR1, CXCR2, and DARC. In addition to its role as a receptor for LukED, CCR5 is the major coreceptor for primary isolates of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and has been extensively studied. To compare how LukED and HIV-1 target CCR5, we analyzed their respective abilities to use CCR5/CCR2b chimeras to mediate cytotoxicity and virus entry. These analyses showed that the second and third extracellular loops (ECL) of CCR5 are necessary and sufficient for LukED to target the receptor and promote cell lysis. In contrast, the second ECL of CCR5 is necessary but not sufficient for HIV-1 infectivity. The analysis of CCR5 point mutations showed that glycine-163 is critical for HIV-1 infectivity, while arginine-274 and aspartic acid-276 are critical for LukED cytotoxicity. Point mutations in ECL2 diminished both HIV-1 infectivity and LukED cytotoxicity. Treatment of cells with LukED did not interfere with CCR5-tropic HIV-1 infectivity, demonstrating that LukED and the viral envelope glycoprotein use nonoverlapping sites on CCR5. Analysis of point mutations in LukE showed that amino acids 64 to 69 in the rim domain are required for CCR5 targeting and cytotoxicity. Taking the results together, this study identified the molecular basis by which LukED targets CCR5, highlighting the divergent molecular interactions evolved by HIV-1 and LukED to interact with CCR5.<h4>Importance</h4>The bicomponent pore-forming toxins are thought to play a vital role in the success of Staphylococcus aureus as a mammalian pathogen. One of the leukocidins, LukED, is necessary and sufficient for lethality in mice. At the molecular level, LukED causes cell lysis through binding to specific cellular receptors. CCR5 is one of the receptors targeted by LukED and is the major coreceptor for CCR5-tropic HIV-1. While the molecular interaction of CCR5 and HIV-1 is well characterized, the means by which LukED interacts with CCR5 is less clear. In this study, we demonstrated that receptor specificity is conferred through unique interactions between key domains on CCR5 and LukE. Although HIV-1 and LukED target the same receptor, our data demonstrated that they interact with CCR5 differently, highlighting the molecular complexity of host-pathogen interactions.
Project description:A competitive reverse transcription-PCR method was developed for the semiquantitation of the expression of genes encoding bicomponent leucotoxins of Staphylococcus aureus, e.g., Panton-Valentine leucocidin (lukPV), gamma-hemolysin (hlgA and hlgCB), and LukE-LukD (lukED). The optimization procedure included RNA preparation; reverse transcription; the use of various amounts of enzymes, antisense primer, and RNA; and the final amplification chain reaction. Reproducible results were obtained, with sensitivity for detection of cDNA within the range of 1 mRNA/10(4) CFU to 10(2) mRNA/CFU, depending on the gene. Both specific mRNAs were more significantly expressed at the late-exponential phase of growth. Expression was about 100-fold higher in yeast extract-Casamino Acids-pyruvate medium than in heart infusion medium. Expression of the widely distributed gamma-hemolysin locus in the NTCC 8178 strain was around 10-fold diminished compared with that in the ATCC 49775 strain. Because of the lower level of hlgA expression, the corresponding protein, which is generally not abundant in culture supernatant, should be investigated for its contribution to the leucotoxin-associated virulence. The agr, sar, and agr sar mutant strains revealed a great dependence with regard to leucotoxin expression on the global regulatory system in S. aureus, except that expression of hlgA was not affected in the agr mutant.
Project description:<i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> (<i>S. aureus</i>) produces many different exotoxins including the gamma-toxins, HlgAB and HlgCB. Gamma-toxins form pores in both leukocyte and erythrocyte membranes, resulting in cell lysis. The genes encoding gamma-toxins are present in most strains of <i>S. aureus,</i> and are commonly expressed in clinical isolates recovered from menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome (mTSS) patients. This study set out to investigate the cytotoxic and proinflammatory effects of gamma-toxins on vaginal epithelial surfaces. We found that both HlgAB and HlgCB were cytotoxic to cultured human vaginal epithelial cells (HVECs) and induced cytokine production at sub-cytotoxic doses. Cytokine production induced by gamma-toxin treatment of HVECs was found to involve epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling and mediated by shedding of EGFR ligands from the cell surface. The gamma-toxin subunits displayed differential binding to HVECs (HlgA 93%, HlgB 97% and HlgC 28%) with both components (HlgAB or HlgCB) required for maximum detectable binding and significant stimulation of cytokine production. In studies using full thickness ex vivo porcine vaginal mucosa, HlgAB or HlgCB stimulated a dose-dependent cytokine response, which was reduced significantly by inhibition of EGFR signaling. The effects of gamma-toxins on porcine vaginal tissue and cultured HVECs were validated using ex vivo human ectocervical tissue. Collectively, these studies have identified the EGFR-signaling pathway as a key component in gamma-toxin-induced proinflammatory changes at epithelial surfaces and highlight a potential therapeutic target to diminish toxigenic effects of <i>S. aureus</i> infections.
Project description:The Staphylococcus aureus leukotoxin ED (LukED) is a pore-forming toxin required for the lethality associated with bacteremia in murine models. LukED targets the chemokine receptor CCR5 to kill T lymphocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells. LukED also kills CCR5-deficient cells, like neutrophils, suggesting the existence of additional cellular receptors. Here, we identify the chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2 as the targets of LukED on neutrophils. The LukE subunit binds neutrophils in a specific and saturable manner, and this interaction is inhibited by CXCL8, the high-affinity endogenous ligand of CXCR1 and CXCR2. LukED recognition of CXCR1 and CXCR2 promotes the killing of monocytes and neutrophils in vitro. LukED-mediated targeting of CXCR1 and CXCR2(+) cells contributes to S. aureus pathogenesis and facilitates lethality in systemically infected mice. Thus, LukED is a versatile toxin that endows S. aureus with the ability to simultaneously disarm both innate and adaptive compartments of the host immune response.
Project description:Staphylococcal leukotoxins are a family of β-barrel, bicomponent, pore-forming toxins with membrane-damaging functions. These bacterial exotoxins share sequence and structural homology and target several host-cell types. Leukotoxin ED (LukED) is one of these bicomponent pore-forming toxins that Staphylococcus aureus produces in order to suppress the ability of the host to contain the infection. The recent delineation of the important role that LukED plays in S. aureus pathogenesis and the identification of its protein receptors, combined with its presence in S. aureus methicillin-resistant epidemic strains, establish this leukocidin as a possible target for the development of novel therapeutics. Here, the crystal structures of the water-soluble LukE and LukD components of LukED have been determined. The two structures illustrate the tertiary-structural variability with respect to the other leukotoxins while retaining the conservation of the residues involved in the interaction of the protomers in the bipartite leukotoxin in the pore complex.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus subverts host defences by producing a collection of virulence factors including bi-component pore-forming leukotoxins. Despite extensive sequence conservation, each leukotoxin has unique properties, including disparate cellular receptors and species specificities. How these toxins collectively influence S. aureus pathogenesis is unknown. Here we demonstrate that the leukotoxins LukSF-PV and LukED antagonize each other's cytolytic activities on leukocytes and erythrocytes by forming inactive hybrid complexes. Remarkably, LukSF-PV inhibition of LukED haemolytic activity on both human and murine erythrocytes prevents the release of nutrients required for in vitro bacterial growth. Using in vivo murine models of infection, we show that LukSF-PV negatively influences S. aureus virulence and colonization by inhibiting LukED. Thus, while S. aureus leukotoxins can certainly injure immune cells, the discovery of leukotoxin antagonism suggests that they may also play a role in reducing S. aureus virulence and maintaining infection without killing the host.
Project description:Pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus is increasingly recognized to be driven by powerful toxins. Staphylococcus aureus employs up to six pore-forming toxins to subvert the human host defense and to promote bacterial invasion: alpha-hemolysin that disrupts epithelial and endothelial barriers and five leukocidins that lyse phagocytes involved in bacterial clearance. Previously, we described two human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), ASN-1 that neutralizes alpha-hemolysin and four leukocidins (LukSF-PV, LukED, HlgAB, HlgCB), and ASN-2 that inactivates the 5th leukocidin, LukGH. In this study we tested the individual and combined effects of ASN-1 and ASN-2 in multiple in vitro models employing relevant human target cells. We found that diverse S. aureus isolates with different genetic backgrounds (based on MLST- and spa-typing) and antibiotic sensitivity (both MRSA and MSSA) displayed greatly different cytotoxin expression patterns influenced by the type of growth medium used. Both mAbs were required to fully prevent the lysis of human neutrophils exposed to the mixture of recombinant cytotoxins or native toxins present in the culture supernatants of S. aureus isolates. Flow cytometry confirmed the protective effects of ASN-1 + ASN-2 (known as ASN100) on granulocytes, monocytes, NK-cells and T-lymphocytes. ASN-1 alone preserved the integrity of a 3D-primary culture of human tracheal/bronchial mucociliary epithelial tissue infected with S. aureus. We conclude that simultaneous inhibition of alpha-hemolysin and five leukocidins by ASN100 blocks cytolytic activity of S. aureus towards human target cells in vitro.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a major human and animal pathogen and a common cause of mastitis in cattle. S. aureus secretes several leukocidins that target bovine neutrophils, crucial effector cells in the defence against bacterial pathogens. In this study, we investigated the role of staphylococcal leukocidins in the pathogenesis of bovine S. aureus disease. We show that LukAB, in contrast to the ?-hemolysins, LukED, and LukMF', was unable to kill bovine neutrophils, and identified CXCR2 as a bovine receptor for HlgAB and LukED. Furthermore, we assessed functional leukocidin secretion by bovine mastitis isolates and observed that, although leukocidin production was strain dependent, LukMF' was most abundantly secreted and the major toxin killing bovine neutrophils. To determine the role of LukMF' in bovine mastitis, cattle were challenged with high (S1444) or intermediate (S1449, S1463) LukMF'-producing isolates. Only animals infected with S1444 developed severe clinical symptoms. Importantly, LukM was produced in vivo during the course of infection and levels in milk were associated with the severity of mastitis. Altogether, these findings underline the importance of LukMF' as a virulence factor and support the development of therapeutic approaches targeting LukMF' to control S. aureus mastitis in cattle.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen associated with high mortality. The emergence of antibiotic resistance and the inability of antibiotics to counteract bacterial cytotoxins involved in the pathogenesis of S. aureus call for novel therapeutic approaches, such as passive immunization with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The complexity of staphylococcal pathogenesis and past failures with single mAb products represent considerable barriers for antibody-based therapeutics. Over the past few years, efforts have focused on neutralizing ?-hemolysin. Recent findings suggest that the concerted actions of several cytotoxins, including the bi-component leukocidins play important roles in staphylococcal pathogenesis. Therefore, we aimed to isolate mAbs that bind to multiple cytolysins by employing high diversity human IgG1 libraries presented on the surface of yeast cells. Here we describe cross-reactive antibodies with picomolar affinity for ?-hemolysin and 4 different bi-component leukocidins that share only ?26% overall amino acid sequence identity. The molecular basis of cross-reactivity is the recognition of a conformational epitope shared by ?-hemolysin and F-components of gamma-hemolysin (HlgAB and HlgCB), LukED and LukSF (Panton-Valentine Leukocidin). The amino acids predicted to form the epitope are conserved and known to be important for cytotoxic activity. We found that a single cross-reactive antibody prevented lysis of human phagocytes, epithelial and red blood cells induced by ?-hemolysin and leukocidins in vitro, and therefore had superior effectiveness compared to ?-hemolysin specific antibodies to protect from the combined cytolytic effect of secreted S. aureus toxins. Such mAb afforded high levels of protection in murine models of pneumonia and sepsis.