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Cell Microbiol. 2000 Feb;2(1):69-82.

Syndecan-1 and syndecan-4 can mediate the invasion of OpaHSPG-expressing Neisseria gonorrhoeae into epithelial cells.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie, Abteilung Infektionsbiologie, Tübingen, Germany.


Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ngo) expressing the outer membrane protein OpaHSPG can adhere to and invade epithelial cells via binding to heparan sulphate proteoglycan (HSPG) receptors. In this study, we have investigated the role of syndecan-1 and syndecan-4, two members of the HSPG family, in the uptake of Ngo by epithelial cells. When overexpressed in HeLa cells, both syndecans co-localize with adherent Ngo on the host cell surface. This overexpression of syndecan-1 and syndecan-4 leads to a three- and sevenfold increase in Ngo invasion respectively. In contrast, transfection with the syndecan-1 and syndecan-4 mutant constructs lacking the intracellular domain results in an abrogation of the invasion process, characteristic of a dominant-negative mode of action. A concomitant loss of the capacity to mediate Ngo uptake was also observed with syndecan-4 mutant constructs carrying lesions in the dimerization motif necessary for the binding of protein kinase C (PKC) and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), and mutants that are deficient in a C-terminal EFYA amino acid motif responsible for binding to syntenin or CASK. We conclude that syndecan-1 and syndecan-4 can both mediate Ngo uptake into epithelial cells, and that their intracellular domains play a crucial role in this process, perhaps by mediating signal transduction or anchorage to the cytoskeleton.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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