Recognition of saccharides by the OpcA, OpaD, and OpaB outer membrane proteins from Neisseria meningitidis

J Moore, SES Bailey, Z Benmechernene, C Tzitzilonis, NJE Griffiths, M Virji, JP Derrick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The adhesion of the pathogen Neisseria meningitidis to host cell surface proteoglycan, mediated by the integral outer membrane proteins OpcA and Opa, plays an important part in the processes of colonization and invasion by the bacterium. The precise specificities of the OpcA and Opa proteins are, however, unknown. Here we use a fluorescence-based binding assay to show that both proteins bind to mono- and disaccharides with high affinity. Binding of saccharides caused a quench in the intrinsic fluorescence emission of both proteins, and mutation of selected Tyr residues within the external loop regions caused a substantial decrease in fluorescence. We suggest that the intrinsic fluorescence arises from resonance energy transfer from Tyr to Trp residues in the beta-barrel portion of the structure. OpcA bound sialic acid with a K-d of 0.31 mu M and was shown to be specific for pyranose saccharides. The binding specificities of two different Opa proteins were compared; unlike OpcA, neither protein bound to monosaccharides, but both bound to maltose, lactose, and sialic acid-containing oligosaccharides, with K-d values in the micromolar range. OpaB had a 10-fold higher affinity for sialic acid-containing ligands than OpaD as a result of the mutation Y165V, which was shown to restore this specificity to OpaD. Finally, the OpcA- and Opa-dependent adhesion of meningococci to epithelial cells was shown to be partially inhibited by exogenously added sialic acid and maltose. The results show that OpcA and the Opa proteins can be thought of as outer membrane lectins and that simple saccharides can modulate their recognition of complex proteoglycan receptors.

Translated title of the contributionRecognition of saccharides by the OpcA, OpaD, and OpaB outer membrane proteins from Neisseria meningitidis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31489-31497
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume280
Issue number36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Waverly Press Inc

Keywords

  • HUMAN ENDOTHELIAL-CELLS
  • EPITHELIAL-CELLS
  • CRYSTAL-STRUCTURE
  • PROTEOGLYCAN RECEPTORS
  • TYROSINE FLUORESCENCE
  • PATHOGENIC NEISSERIA
  • COMMENSAL NEISSERIA
  • N-ACETYLGLUCOSAMINE
  • INTEGRIN RECEPTORS
  • STRUCTURAL BASIS

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