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Utilizing complement evasion strategies to design complement-based antibacterial immunotherapeutics: Lessons from the pathogenic Neisseriae.


ABSTRACT: Novel therapies are urgently needed to combat the global threat of multidrug-resistant pathogens. Complement forms an important arm of innate defenses against infections. In physiological conditions, complement activation is tightly controlled by soluble and membrane-associated complement inhibitors, but must be selectively activated on invading pathogens to facilitate microbial clearance. Many pathogens, including Neisseria gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis, express glycans, including N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), that mimic host structures to evade host immunity. Neu5Ac is a negatively charged 9-cabon sugar that inhibits complement, in part by enhancing binding of the complement inhibitor factor H (FH) through C-terminal domains (19 and 20) on FH. Other microbes also bind FH, in most instances through FH domains 6 and 7 or 18-20. Here we describe two strategies to target complement activation on Neisseriae. First, microbial binding domains of FH were fused to IgG Fc to create FH18-20/Fc (binds gonococci) and FH6,7/Fc (binds meningococci). A point mutation in FH domain 19 eliminated hemolysis caused by unmodified FH18-20, but retained binding to gonococci. FH18-20/Fc and FH6,7/Fc mediated complement-dependent killing in vitro and showed efficacy in animal models of gonorrhea and meningococcal bacteremia, respectively. The second strategy utilized CMP-nonulosonate (CMP-NulO) analogs of sialic acid that were incorporated into LOS and prevented complement inhibition by physiologic CMP-Neu5Ac and resulted in attenuated gonococcal infection in mice. While studies to establish the safety of these agents are needed, enhancing complement activation on microbes may represent a promising strategy to treat antimicrobial resistant organisms.

SUBMITTER: Ram S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4987187 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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