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Front Microbiol. 2015 Mar 9;6:178. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00178. eCollection 2015.

A novel pro-inflammatory protein of Streptococcus suis 2 induces the Toll-like receptor 2-dependent expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in RAW 264.7 macrophages via activation of ERK1/2 pathway.

Author information

1
Unit of Animal Infectious Diseases, National Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University Wuhan, China.
2
Unit of Animal Infectious Diseases, National Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University Wuhan, China ; Key Laboratory of Development of Veterinary Diagnostic Products, Ministry of Agriculture Wuhan, China.

Abstract

Streptococcus suis 2 is an important swine pathogen and an emergent zoonotic pathogen. Excessive inflammation caused by S. suis is responsible for the high levels of early mortality observed in septic shock-like syndrome cases. However, the mechanisms through which S. suis 2 (SS2) causes excessive inflammation remain unclear. Thus, this study aimed to identify novel pro-inflammatory mediators that play important roles in the development of therapies against SS2 infection. In this study, the novel pro-inflammatory protein HP0459, which was encoded by the SSUSC84_0459 gene, was discovered. The stimulation of RAW 264.7 macrophages with recombinant HP0459 protein induced the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, MCP-1 and TNF-α). Compared with the wild-type (WT) strain, the isogenic knockout of HP0459 in SS2 led to reduced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in RAW264.7 macrophages and in vivo. The pro-inflammatory activity of HP0459 was significantly reduced by an antibody against Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) in RAW264.7 macrophages and was lower in TLR2-deficient (TLR2-/-) macrophages than in WT macrophages. Furthermore, specific inhibitors of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) pathways significantly decreased the HP0459-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and a western blot assay showed that HP0459 stimulation induced the activation of the ERK1/2 pathway. Taken together, our data indicate that HP0459 is a novel pro-inflammatory mediator of SS2 and induces TLR2-dependent pro-inflammatory activity in RAW264.7 macrophages through the ERK1/2 pathway.

KEYWORDS:

ERK1/2 pathway; Streptococcus suis 2; Toll-like receptor 2; inflammation; pro-inflammatory protein

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