TitleMicroaggregate-associated protein involved in invasion of epithelial cells by Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBabrak, L, Danelishvili, L, Rose, SJ, Bermudez, LE
Date Published2015

The environmental opportunistic pathogen Mycobacterium avium subsp hominissuis (MAH), a member of the nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) cluster, causes respiratory as well as disseminated disease in patients such as those with chronic respiratory illnesses or AIDS. Currently, there is no effective method to prevent NTM respiratory infections. The formation of mycobacterial microaggregates comprises of phenotypic changes that lead to efficient adherence and invasion of the respiratory mucosa in vitro and in vivo. Microaggregate adhesion to the respiratory epithelium is mediated in part through the mycobacterial protein, MAV_3013 (MBP-1). Through DNA microarray analysis, the small hypothetical gene MAV_0831 (Microaggregate Invasion Protein-1, MIP-1) was identified as being upregulated during microaggregate formation. When MIP-1 was overexpressed in poorly-invasive Mycobacterium smegmatis, it provided the bacterium the ability to bind and enter epithelial cells. In addition, incubating microaggregates with recombinant MIP-1 protein enhanced the ability of microaggregates to invade HEp-2 cells, and exposure to anti-MIP-1 immune serum reduced the invasion of the host epithelium. Through protein-protein interaction assays, MIP-1 was found to bind to the host protein filamin A, a cytoskeletal actin-binding protein integral to the modulation of host cell shape and migration. As visualized by immunofluorescence, filamin A was able to co-localize with microaggregates and to a lesser extent planktonic bacteria. Invasion of HEp-2 cells by microaggregates and planktonic bacteria was also inhibited by the addition of anti-filamin A antibody suggesting that filamin A plays an important role during infection. In addition, at earlier time points binding and invasion assay results suggest that MBP-1 participates significantly during the first interactions with the host cell while MIP-1 becomes important once the bacteria adhere to the host epithelium. In summary, we have unveiled one more step associated with MAH crossing the respiratory mucosa.

Alternate JournalVirulence
PubMed ID26252358
PubMed Central IDPMC4720229
Grant ListAI 043199 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States