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Microbes Infect. 2008 Jan;10(1):87-96. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

Identification of a novel Haemophilus influenzae protein important for adhesion to epithelial cells.

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Medical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Malmö University Hospital, Lund University, SE-205 02 Malmö, Sweden.

Erratum in

  • Microbes Infect. 2015 Jun;17(6):e2.


Non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is an important human-specific respiratory pathogen colonizing the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract. The bacterium is a common cause of acute otitis media in children and exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). An immunoglobulin (Ig) D-lambda myeloma protein was found to detect a 16 kDa surface protein that we designated protein E (PE). The pe gene was cloned using an NTHi genomic DNA library, and a truncated PE-derived protein lacking the endogenous signal peptide (PE22-160) was synthesized and produced in large amounts in Escherichia coli. Interestingly, PE was expressed at the bacterial surface of NTHi as revealed by flow cytometry using the IgD-lambda myeloma protein or PE-specific polyclonal antibodies. A PE-deficient NTHi mutant was produced and lost 50% of its adhesive capacity as compared to the wild-type counterpart when analysed for adhesion to type II lung alveolar epithelial cells. In parallel, E. coli expressing full-length PE1-160 adhered significantly more efficiently to epithelial cells as compared to wild-type E. coli. Recombinant IgD that recognized the chemical dansyl-chloride did not interact with PE indicating that the IgD-lambda myeloma protein most likely was an antibody directed against the H. influenzae surface epitope. In conclusion, we have discovered a novel NTHi outer membrane protein with adhesive properties using an IgD-myeloma protein.

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