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J Infect Dis. 2005 Jul 15;192(2):218-25. Epub 2005 Jun 7.

Protective anti-V antibodies inhibit Pseudomonas and Yersinia translocon assembly within host membranes.

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Biochimie et Biophysique des Systèmes Intégrés, CEA-Grenoble, UMR5092 CNRS, Grenoble, France.


Pathogenic Yersinia species and Pseudomonas aeruginosa share a similar type III secretion/translocation system. The translocation system consists of 3 secreted proteins, YopB/PopB, YopD/PopD, and LcrV/PcrV; the latter is known to be a protective antigen. In an in vitro assay, the translocation system causes the lysis of erythrocytes infected with wild-type (wt) P. aeruginosa. wt Y. enterocolitica is not hemolytic, but a multiknockout mutant deprived of all the effectors and of YopN ( Delta HOPEMN) is hemolytic. In the presence of antibodies against PcrV and Y. pestis LcrV, the hemolytic activity of P. aeruginosa was inhibited. Similarly, the hemolytic activity of Delta HOPEMN was inhibited in the presence of anti-LcrV antibodies. The assembly of the translocon, composed of PopB/D and YopB/D proteins, was disturbed in immunoprotected erythrocyte membranes, mimicking the phenotypes of V knockout mutants. Thus, protective antibodies against the V antigens of Yersinia species and P. aeruginosa act at the level of the formation of the translocon pore in membranes of infected host cells by blocking the function of LcrV/PcrV. The hemolysis assay could be adapted for high-throughput screening of anti-infectious compounds that specifically target the type III translocon.

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