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Microbiology. 2009 Sep;155(Pt 9):2818-25. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.028969-0. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

Burkholderia cenocepacia zinc metalloproteases influence resistance to antimicrobial peptides.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Calgary, Calgary AB T2N 4N1, Canada.


Burkholderia cenocepacia secretes two zinc-dependent metalloproteases, designated ZmpA and ZmpB. Previously, ZmpA and ZmpB have been shown to cleave several proteins important in host defence. In this study, the ability of ZmpA and ZmpB to digest and inactivate antimicrobial peptides involved in innate immunity was examined. ZmpB but not ZmpA cleaved beta-defensin-1. ZmpA but not ZmpB cleaved the cathelicidin LL-37. Both enzymes cleaved elafin and secretory leukocyte inhibitor, which are antimicrobial peptides as well as neutrophil elastase inhibitors. Both ZmpA and ZmpB cleaved protamine, a fish antimicrobial peptide, and a zmpA zmpB mutant was more sensitive to protamine killing than the parental strain. ZmpA or ZmpB cleavage of elafin inactivated its anti-protease activity. The effect of ZmpA and ZmpB on the neutrophil proteases elastase and cathepsin G was also examined but neither enzyme was active against these host proteases. These studies suggest that ZmpA and ZmpB may influence the resistance of B. cenocepacia to host antimicrobial peptides as well as alter the host protease/anti-protease balance in chronic respiratory infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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