• Directed evolution and targeted mutagenesis to murinize Listeria monocytogenes internalin A for enhanced infectivity in the murine oral infection model.

      Monk, Ian R; Casey, Pat G; Hill, Colin; Gahan, Cormac G M; Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre & Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork, Ireland. (2010)
      Internalin A (InlA) is a critical virulence factor which mediates the initiation of Listeria monocytogenes infection by the oral route in permissive hosts. The interaction of InlA with the host cell ligand E-cadherin efficiently stimulates L. monocytogenes entry into human enterocytes, but has only a limited interaction with murine cells.
    • Dissociation of activated protein C functions by elimination of protein S cofactor enhancement.

      Harmon, Shona; Preston, Roger J S; Ainle, Fionnuala Ni; Johnson, Jennifer A; Cunningham, Moya S; Smith, Owen P; White, Barry; O'Donnell, James S; Haemostasis Research Group, Institute of Molecular Medicine, St James's Hospital, Trinity College, Dublin 8, Ireland. (2008-11-07)
      Activated protein C (APC) plays a critical anticoagulant role in vivo by inactivating procoagulant factor Va and factor VIIIa and thus down-regulating thrombin generation. In addition, APC bound to the endothelial cell protein C receptor can initiate protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1)-mediated cytoprotective signaling. Protein S constitutes a critical cofactor for the anticoagulant function of APC but is not known to be involved in regulating APC-mediated protective PAR-1 signaling. In this study we utilized a site-directed mutagenesis strategy to characterize a putative protein S binding region within the APC Gla domain. Three single amino acid substitutions within the APC Gla domain (D35T, D36A, and A39V) were found to mildly impair protein S-dependent anticoagulant activity (<2-fold) but retained entirely normal cytoprotective activity. However, a single amino acid substitution (L38D) ablated the ability of protein S to function as a cofactor for this APC variant. Consequently, in assays of protein S-dependent factor Va proteolysis using purified proteins or in the plasma milieu, APC-L38D variant exhibited minimal residual anticoagulant activity compared with wild type APC. Despite the location of Leu-38 in the Gla domain, APC-L38D interacted normally with endothelial cell protein C receptor and retained its ability to trigger PAR-1 mediated cytoprotective signaling in a manner indistinguishable from that of wild type APC. Consequently, elimination of protein S cofactor enhancement of APC anticoagulant function represents a novel and effective strategy by which to separate the anticoagulant and cytoprotective functions of APC for potential therapeutic gain.
    • Ubiquitination of the bacterial inositol phosphatase, SopB, regulates its biological activity at the plasma membrane.

      Knodler, Leigh A; Winfree, Seth; Drecktrah, Dan; Ireland, Robin; Steele-Mortimer, Olivia; Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA. lknodler@niaid.nih.gov (2009-11)
      The Salmonella type III effector, SopB, is an inositol polyphosphate phosphatase that modulates host cell phospholipids at the plasma membrane and the nascent Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV). Translocated SopB persists for many hours after infection and is ubiquitinated but the significance of this covalent modification has not been investigated. Here we identify by mass spectrometry six lysine residues of SopB that are mono-ubiquitinated. Substitution of these six lysine residues with arginine, SopB-K(6)R, almost completely eliminated SopB ubiquitination. We found that ubiquitination does not affect SopB stability or membrane association, or SopB-dependent events in SCV biogenesis. However, two spatially and temporally distinct events are dependent on ubiquitination, downregulation of SopB activity at the plasma membrane and prolonged retention of SopB on the SCV. Activation of the mammalian pro-survival kinase Akt/PKB, a downstream target of SopB, was intensified and prolonged after infection with the SopB-K(6)R mutant. At later times, fewer SCV were decorated with SopB-K(6)R compared with SopB. Instead SopB-K(6)R was present as discrete vesicles spread diffusely throughout the cell. Altogether, our data show that ubiquitination of SopB is not related to its intracellular stability but rather regulates its enzymatic activity at the plasma membrane and intracellular localization.