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J Biol Chem. 2012 Jan 13;287(3):1892-902. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.298687. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Novel mycobacteria antigen 85 complex binding motif on fibronectin.

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  • 1Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


The members of the antigen 85 protein family (Ag85), consisting of members Ag85A, Ag85B, and Ag85C, are the predominantly secreted proteins of mycobacteria and possess the ability to specifically interact with fibronectin (Fn). Because Fn-binding proteins are likely to be important virulence factors of Mycobacterium spp., Ag85 may contribute to the adherence, invasion, and dissemination of organisms in host tissue. In this study, we reported the Fn binding affinity of Ag85A, Ag85B, and Ag85C from Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) (K(D) values were determined from 33.6 to 68.4 nm) and mapped the Ag85-binding motifs of Fn. Fn14, a type III module located on the heparin-binding domain II (Hep-2) of Fn, was discovered to interact with Ag85 from MAP. The peptide inhibition assay subsequently demonstrated that a peptide consisting of residues 17-26 from Fn14 ((17)SLLVSWQPPR(26), termed P17-26) could interfere with Ag85B binding to Fn (73.3% reduction). In addition, single alanine substitutions along the sequence of P17-26 revealed that the key residues involved in Ag85-Fn binding likely contribute through hydrophobic and charge interactions. Moreover, binding of Ag85 on Fn siRNA-transfected Caco2 cells was dramatically reduced (44.6%), implying the physiological significance of the Ag85-Fn interaction between mycobacteria and host cells during infection. Our results indicate that Ag85 binds to Fn at a novel motif and plays a critical role in mycobacteria adherence to host cells by initiating infection. Ag85 might serve as an important colonization factor potentially contributing to mycobacterial virulence.

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