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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Nov 17;112(46):14337-42. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1510265112. Epub 2015 Oct 21.

The adherens junctions control susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305;
2
Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305;
3
Department of Cell Biology, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland;
4
Glaxo Smith Kline Vaccines, Società a Responsabilità Limitata, 53100 Siena, Italy;
5
Department of Comparative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305;
6
Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100101 Beijing, China; RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe 650-0047, Japan;
7
Animal Resource Development Unit and Genetic Engineering Team, RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, Kobe 650-0047, Japan;
8
RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe 650-0047, Japan;
9
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305; Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305;
10
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305; amieva@stanford.edu carette@stanford.edu.
11
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305; Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305 amieva@stanford.edu carette@stanford.edu.

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is both a transient skin colonizer and a formidable human pathogen, ranking among the leading causes of skin and soft tissue infections as well as severe pneumonia. The secreted bacterial α-toxin is essential for S. aureus virulence in these epithelial diseases. To discover host cellular factors required for α-toxin cytotoxicity, we conducted a genetic screen using mutagenized haploid human cells. Our screen identified a cytoplasmic member of the adherens junctions, plekstrin-homology domain containing protein 7 (PLEKHA7), as the second most significantly enriched gene after the known α-toxin receptor, a disintegrin and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10). Here we report a new, unexpected role for PLEKHA7 and several components of cellular adherens junctions in controlling susceptibility to S. aureus α-toxin. We find that despite being injured by α-toxin pore formation, PLEKHA7 knockout cells recover after intoxication. By infecting PLEKHA7(-/-) mice with methicillin-resistant S. aureus USA300 LAC strain, we demonstrate that this junctional protein controls disease severity in both skin infection and lethal S. aureus pneumonia. Our results suggest that adherens junctions actively control cellular responses to a potent pore-forming bacterial toxin and identify PLEKHA7 as a potential nonessential host target to reduce S. aureus virulence during epithelial infections.

KEYWORDS:

MRSA; PLEKHA7; Staphylococcus aureus; adherens junctions; α-toxin

PMID:
26489655
PMCID:
PMC4655540
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1510265112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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