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J Biol Chem. 2009 Apr 10;284(15):9955-64. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M808629200. Epub 2009 Feb 11.

Counteracting signaling activities in lipid rafts associated with the invasion of lung epithelial cells by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA. david.zaas@duke.edu

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa has the capacity to invade lung epithelial cells by co-opting the intrinsic endocytic properties of lipid rafts, which are rich in cholesterol, sphingolipids, and proteins, such as caveolin-1 and -2. We compared intratracheal Pseudomonas infection in wild type and caveolin-deficient mice to investigate the role of caveolin proteins in the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas pneumonia. Unlike wild type mice, which succumb to pneumonia, caveolin-deficient mice are resistant to Pseudomonas. We observed that Pseudomonas invasion of lung epithelial cells is dependent on caveolin-2 but not caveolin-1. Phosphorylation of caveolin-2 by Src family kinases is an essential event for Pseudomonas invasion. Our studies also reveal the existence of a distinct signaling mechanism in lung epithelial cells mediated by COOH-terminal Src kinase (Csk) that negatively regulates Pseudomonas invasion. Csk migrates to lipid raft domains, where it decreases phosphorylation of caveolin-2 by inactivating c-Src. Whereas Pseudomonas co-opts the endocytic properties of caveolin-2 for invasion, there also exists in these cells an intrinsic Csk-dependent cellular defense mechanism aimed at impairing this activity. The success of Pseudomonas in co-opting lipid raft-mediated endocytosis to invade lung epithelial cells may depend on the relative strengths of these counteracting signaling activities.

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