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Cell Microbiol. 2013 Jan;15(1):63-81. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12026. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

Regulation of Toll-like receptor 2 interaction with Ecgp96 controls Escherichia coli K1 invasion of brain endothelial cells.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA.


The interaction of outer membrane protein A (OmpA) with its receptor, Ecgp96 (a homologue of Hsp90β), is critical for the pathogenesis of Escherichia coli K1 meningitis. Since Hsp90 chaperones Toll-like receptors (TLRs), we examined the role of TLRs in E. coli K1 infection. Herein, we show that newborn TLR2(-/-) mice are resistant to E. coli K1 meningitis, while TLR4(-/-) mice succumb to infection sooner. In vitro, OmpA+ E. coli infection selectively upregulates Ecgp96 and TLR2 in human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC), whereas OmpA- E. coli upregulates TLR4 in these cells. Furthermore, infection with OmpA+ E. coli causes Ecgp96 and TLR2 translocate to the plasma membrane of HBMEC as a complex. Immunoprecipitation studies of the plasma membrane fractions from infected HBMEC reveal that the C termini of Ecgp96 and TLR2 are critical for OmpA+ E. coli invasion. Knockdown of TLR2 using siRNA results in inefficient membrane translocation of Ecgp96 and significantly reduces invasion. In addition, the interaction of Ecgp96 andTLR2 induces a bipartite signal, one from Ecgp96 through PKC-α while the other from TLR2 through MyD88, ERK1/2 and NF-κB. This bipartite signal ultimately culminates in the efficient production of NO, which in turn promotes E. coli K1 invasion of HBMEC.

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