The Haemophilus influenzae Hap autotransporter mediates microcolony formation and adherence to epithelial cells and extracellular matrix via binding regions in the C-terminal end of the passenger domain.
The pathogenesis of non-typable Haemophilus influenzae disease begins with colonization of the nasopharynx and is facilitated by bacterial adherence to respiratory mucosa. The H. influenzae Hap autotransporter is a non-pilus adhesin that promotes adherence to epithelial cells and selected extracellular matrix proteins and mediates bacterial aggregation and microcolony formation. In addition, Hap has serine protease activity. Hap contains a 110 kDa internal passenger domain called HapS and a 45 kDa C-terminal translocator domain called Hapbeta. In the present study, we sought to define the structural basis for Hap adhesive activities. Based on experiments using a panel of monoclonal antibodies against HapS, a deletion derivative lacking most of HapS and a purified fragment of HapS, we established that adherence to epithelial cells is mediated by sequences within the C-terminal 311 residues of HapS. In additional experiments, we discovered that bacterial aggregation is also mediated by sequences within the C-terminal 311 residues of HapS and occurs via HapS-HapS interaction between molecules on neighbouring organisms. Finally, we found that adherence to fibronectin, laminin and collagen IV is mediated in part by sequences within the C-terminal 311 residues of HapS and in full by sequences within the C-terminal 511 residues of HapS. Taken together, these results demonstrate that all Hap adhesive activities reside in the C-terminal portion of HapS. Coupled with earlier observations, the current results establish that HapS adhesive activities and HapS protease activity are contained in separate modules of the protein.
Fink, DL; Buscher, AZ; Green, B; Fernsten, P; St Geme, JW
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