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Infect Immun. 1995 Aug;63(8):3117-24.

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis inhibits Fc receptor-mediated phagocytosis in J774 cells.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Linköping University, Sweden.


Nonopsonized as well as immunoglobulin-G (IgG)-opsonized Yersinia pseudotuberculosis resists phagocytic uptake by the macrophage-like cell line J774 by a mechanism involving the plasmid-encoded proteins Yops. The tyrosine phosphatase YopH was of great importance for the antiphagocytic effect of the bacteria. YopH-negative mutants did not induce antiphagocytosis; instead, they were readily ingested, almost to the same extent as that of the translocation mutants YopB and YopD and the plasmid-cured strain. The bacterial determinant invasin was demonstrated to mediate phagocytosis of nonopsonized bacteria by these cells. In addition to inhibiting uptake of itself, Y. pseudotuberculosis also interfered with the phagocytic uptake of other types of prey: J774 cells that had been exposed to virulent Y. pseudotuberculosis exhibited a reduced capacity to ingest IgG-opsonized yeast particles. This effect was impaired when the bacterium-phagocyte interaction occurred in the presence of gentamicin, indicating a requirement for in situ bacterial protein synthesis. The Yersinia-mediated antiphagocytic effect on J774 cells was reversible: after 18 h in the presence of gentamicin, the phagocytic capacity of Yersinia-exposed J774 cells was completely restored. Inhibition of the uptake of IgG-opsonized yeast particles was dependent on the Yops in a manner similar to that seen for blockage of Yersinia phagocytosis. This similarity suggests that the pathogen affected a general phagocytic mechanism. Despite a marked reduction in the capacity to ingest IgG-opsonized yeast particles, no effect was observed on the binding of the prey. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Yop-mediated antiphagocytosis by Y. pseudotuberculosis affects regulatory functions downstream of the phagocytic receptor and thereby extends to other types of phagocytosis.

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