07 July 2020 : Laboratory Research
Chlamydial-Secreted Protease Chlamydia High Temperature Requirement Protein A (cHtrA) Degrades Human Cathelicidin LL-37 and Suppresses Its Anti-Chlamydial ActivityXiaohua Dong1AB, Wanxing Zhang2CE, Jianmei Hou3DF, Miaomiao Ma2DF, Congzhong Zhu4DF, Huiping Wang2AG, Shuping Hou2AG*
Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e923909
BACKGROUND: Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular pathogen that can cause severe reproductive tract complications while ascending infection occurs. When spreading from cell to cell in a host, C. trachomatis utilizes various survival strategies to offset host defense mechanisms. One such strategy is to degrade host antimicrobial defense proteins before they can attack the invading C. trachomatis cells.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We expressed and purified recombinant chlamydia high temperature requirement protein A (cHtrA) including 2 cHtrA mutants (MT-H143A and MT-S247A), and also extracted endogenous cHtrA. Proteins were identified and their purity evaluated by SDS-PAGE and Western blot. The anti-chlamydial activity and degradation of 5 antimicrobial peptides (cathelicidin LL-37, α-defensin-1 and -3, and β-defensin-2 and -4) by cHtrA and 2 cHtrA mutants (MT-H143A and MT-S247A) were tested by immunoassay and Western blot.
RESULTS: Of the 5 antimicrobial peptides (cathelicidin LL-37, α-defensin-1 and -3, and β-defensin-2 and -4) tested, cathelicidin LL-37 showed the strongest anti-chlamydial activity. Interestingly, cHtrA effectively and specifically degraded LL-37, suppressing its anti-chlamydial activity. The 2 cHtrA mutants (MT-H143A and MT-S247A) were unable to degrade LL-37. Comparison of cHtrA activity from C. trachomatis D, L2, and MoPn strains on LL-37 showed similar responses.
CONCLUSIONS: cHtrA may contribute to C. trachomatis pathogenicity by clearing the passage of invasion by specific LL-37 degradation.
Keywords: cathelicidins, Chlamydia trachomatis, serine proteases
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