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Mol Microbiol. 1993 Aug;9(4):653-60.

The filamentous haemagglutinin, a multifaceted adhesion produced by virulent Bordetella spp.

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1
Laboratoire de Microbiologie Génétique et Moléculaire INSERM CJF9109, Lille, France.

Abstract

Filamentous haemagglutinin (FHA) is the major attachment factor produced by virulent Bordetella spp. Similar to the other virulence factors, its production is tightly regulated by a two-component system in response to environmental changes. Although of impressive size (c. 220 kDa), it is very efficiently released into the culture supernatant of Bordetella pertussis. Its biogenesis involves complex processing of a larger precursor with a calculated molecular mass of 370 kDa. Export of FHA into the culture medium depends on an outer membrane protein homologous to haemolysin accessory proteins. Purified extracellular FHA is able to increase the adherence of other pathogens to the host, which may contribute to super-infection in whooping cough. Although FHA- mutants colonize lungs as efficiently as the wild-type parent strains, immune responses against FHA appear to protect against colonization. Unlike many other adhesins, FHA expresses at least three different attachment activities, one specific for the CR3 integrins of macrophages, one involving a carbohydrate-binding site, specific for interactions with cilia, and a heparin-binding activity that may be important for interaction of B. pertussis with epithelial cells or extracellular matrices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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