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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2009 Jan-Mar;22(1):183-93.

Expression of internalin A and biofilm formation among Listeria monocytogenes clinical isolates.

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Department of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Microorganisms and Food Technologies, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.


Internalin A (InlA), a cell wall-bound protein of Listeria monocytogenes, is among the major components involved in the adhesion to and invasion of host cells expressing specific forms of E-cadherin. Some L. monocytogenes strains secrete truncated non-functional forms of InlA. The purpose of this study is to compare the biofilm-forming abilities of L. monocytogenes strains from clinical sources expressing InlA proteins in the different forms. A total of 70 L. monocytogenes strains were examined using SDS-PAGE, Western blot, DNA sequencing, and microtitre plate biofilm formation assays. We found that 8 of the 70 strains expressed truncated InlA, and that this group of strains exhibited significantly enhanced biofilm-forming ability compared to the group expressing full-length InlA. Further experiments showed that: (i) L. monocytogenes biofilms were detached by treatment with protease K; (ii) protein fragments resulting from proteolysis, rather than intact proteins, are responsible for biofilm enhancement, because biofilm formation was impaired by the protease inhibitor alpha2-macroglobulin; (iii) truncated and/or proteolytically cleaved InlA are likely involved in the biofilm enhancement, based on the effects that anti-InlA monoclonal antibodies produced on the biofilm formation of L. monocytogenes strains expressing either truncated or full-length InlA. These data provide a basis for further investigation of the molecular structure and composition of L. monocytogenes biofilms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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