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Role of D-alanylation of Streptococcus gordonii lipoteichoic acid in innate and adaptive immunity
Chan, K. G.
Davis, E. M.
Halperin, S. A.
Lin, T. J.
Lee, S. F.
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In recent years, there has been considerable interest in using the oral commensal gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus gordonii as a live vaccine vector. The present study investigated the role of d-alanylation of lipoteichoic acid (LTA) in the interaction of S. gordonii with the host innate and adaptive immune responses. A mutant strain defective in d-alanylation was generated by inactivation of the dltA gene in a recombinant strain of S. gordonii (PM14) expressing a fragment of the S1 subunit of pertussis toxin. The mutant strain was found to be more susceptible to killing by polymyxin B, nisin, magainin II, and human beta defensins than the parent strain. When it was examined for binding to murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs), the dltA mutant exhibited 200- to 400-fold less binding than the parent but similar levels of binding were shown for Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) knockout DCs and HEp-2 cells. In a mouse oral colonization study, the mutant showed a colonization ability similar to that of the parent and was not able to induce a significant immune response. The mutant induced significantly less interleukin 12p70 (IL-12p70) and IL-10 than the parent from DCs. LTA purified from the bacteria induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha and IL-6 production from wild-type DCs but not from TLR2 knockout DCs, and the mutant LTA induced a significantly smaller amount of these two cytokines. These results show that d-alanylation of LTA in S. gordonii plays a role in the interaction with the host immune system by contributing to the relative resistance to host defense peptides and by modulating cytokine production by DCs.
Chan, K. G., M. Mayer, E. M. Davis, S. A. Halperin, et al. 2007. "Role of D-alanylation of Streptococcus gordonii lipoteichoic acid in innate and adaptive immunity." Infection and immunity 75(6): 3033-3042.