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Interaction of Staphylococcus aureus and Host Cells upon Infection of Bronchial Epithelium during Different Stages of Regeneration

Authors
  • Palma Medina, Laura M.1, 2
  • Becker, Ann-Kristin1
  • Michalik, Stephan1
  • Surmann, Kristin1
  • Hildebrandt, Petra1
  • Gesell Salazar, Manuela1
  • Mekonnen, Solomon A.1, 2
  • Kaderali, Lars1
  • Völker, Uwe1
  • van Dijl, Jan Maarten2
  • 1 University Medicine Greifswald, Germany , (Germany)
  • 2 University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands
Type
Published Article
Journal
ACS Infectious Diseases
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Jun 24, 2020
Volume
6
Issue
8
Pages
2279–2290
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00403
PMID: 32579327
PMCID: PMC7432605
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The primary barrier that protects our lungs against infection by pathogens is a tightly sealed layer of epithelial cells. When the integrity of this barrier is disrupted as a consequence of chronic pulmonary diseases or viral insults, bacterial pathogens will gain access to underlying tissues. A major pathogen that can take advantage of such conditions is Staphylococcus aureus , thereby causing severe pneumonia. In this study, we investigated how S. aureus responds to different conditions of the human epithelium, especially nonpolarization and fibrogenesis during regeneration using an in vitro infection model. The infective process was monitored by quantification of the epithelial cell and bacterial populations, fluorescence microscopy, and mass spectrometry. The results uncover differences in bacterial internalization and population dynamics that correlate with the outcome of infection. Protein profiling reveals that, irrespective of the polarization state of the epithelial cells, the invading bacteria mount similar responses to adapt to the intracellular milieu. Remarkably, a bacterial adaptation that was associated with the regeneration state of the epithelial cells concerned the early upregulation of proteins controlled by the redox-responsive regulator Rex when bacteria were confronted with a polarized cell layer. This is indicative of the modulation of the bacterial cytoplasmic redox state to maintain homeostasis early during infection even before internalization. Our present observations provide a deeper insight into how S. aureus can take advantage of a breached epithelial barrier and show that infected epithelial cells have limited ability to respond adequately to staphylococcal insults.

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