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Binding of Glycoprotein Srr1 of Streptococcus agalactiae to Fibrinogen Promotes Attachment to Brain Endothelium and the Development of Meningitis

Authors
Journal
PLoS Pathogens
1553-7366
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Volume
8
Issue
10
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002947
Keywords
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Bacterial Pathogens
  • Gram Positive
  • Streptococci
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Host-Pathogen Interaction
  • Microbial Pathogens
  • Pathogenesis
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

The serine-rich repeat glycoprotein Srr1 of Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS) is thought to be an important adhesin for the pathogenesis of meningitis. Although expression of Srr1 is associated with increased binding to human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMEC), the molecular basis for this interaction is not well defined. We now demonstrate that Srr1 contributes to GBS attachment to hBMEC via the direct interaction of its binding region (BR) with human fibrinogen. When assessed by Far Western blotting, Srr1 was the only protein in GBS extracts that bound fibrinogen. Studies using recombinant Srr1-BR and purified fibrinogen in vitro confirmed a direct protein-protein interaction. Srr1-BR binding was localized to amino acids 283–410 of the fibrinogen Aα chain. Structural predictions indicated that the conformation of Srr1-BR is likely to resemble that of SdrG and other related staphylococcal proteins that bind to fibrinogen through a “dock, lock, and latch” mechanism (DLL). Deletion of the predicted latch domain of Srr1-BR abolished the interaction of the BR with fibrinogen. In addition, a mutant GBS strain lacking the latch domain exhibited reduced binding to hBMEC, and was significantly attenuated in an in vivo model of meningitis. These results indicate that Srr1 can bind fibrinogen directly likely through a DLL mechanism, which has not been described for other streptococcal adhesins. This interaction was important for the pathogenesis of GBS central nervous system invasion and subsequent disease progression.

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