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Infect Immun. 2006 Oct;74(10):5658-66.

Porphyromonas gingivalis fimbriae proactively modulate beta2 integrin adhesive activity and promote binding to and internalization by macrophages.

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University of Louisville Health Sciences Center, 501 South Preston Street, Room 206, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.


In monocytes, the fimbriae of the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis activate cross talk signaling from Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) to the beta2 integrin CD11b/CD18, leading to the induction of the high-affinity state of the latter receptor. CD14 plays an important role in this "inside-out" proadhesive pathway by binding fimbriae and facilitating the activation of TLR2 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling. In its high-affinity state, CD11b/CD18 mediates monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells and transmigration to sites of infection. We have now shown that P. gingivalis fimbriae function as both an activator and a ligand of CD11b/CD18; thus, fimbriae proactively promote their own binding to monocytes. Indeed, treatments that interfered with fimbria-induced activation of CD11b/CD18 (i.e., blockade of CD14, TLR2, or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling) also suppressed the cell binding activity of fimbriae, which was largely inducible and CD11b/CD18 dependent. Development of a recombinant inside-out signaling system in Chinese hamster ovary cells confirmed the ability of fimbriae to activate CD14/TLR2 signaling and induce their own CD11b/CD18-dependent binding. Induction of this proadhesive pathway by P. gingivalis fimbriae appeared to take place in lipid rafts. Indeed, methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, a cholesterol-sequestering agent that disrupts lipid raft organization, was found to inhibit the fimbria-induced assembly of CD14/TLR2 signaling complexes and the activation of the high-affinity state of CD11b/CD18. Experiments using macrophages from mice deficient in various pattern recognition receptors indicated that the receptors involved in the inside-out proadhesive pathway (CD14, TLR2, and CD11b/CD18) are important for mediating P. gingivalis internalization within macrophages. It therefore appears that P. gingivalis proactively modulates beta2 integrin adhesive activity for intracellular uptake.

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