Hic, a novel surface protein of Streptococcus pneumoniae that interferes with complement function

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
R JanulczykL Bjorck

Abstract

The important human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae was found to absorb factor H, an inhibitor of complement, from human plasma. We identified the gene encoding a novel surface protein, factor H-binding inhibitor of complement (Hic), in the pspC locus of type 3 pneumococci. Unlike PspC proteins in other serotypes, Hic is anchored to the cell wall by means of an LPXTG motif, and the overall sequence homology to various PspC proteins is low. However, the NH(2)-terminal region showed significant homology to the NH(2)-terminal region of several PspC proteins. A fragment of Hic, covering this homologous region, was expressed as a glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein. GST:Hic(39-261) bound radiolabeled factor H and inhibited binding of factor H to pneumococci of different serotypes. Interaction kinetics between GST:Hic(39-261) and factor H were studied with surface plasmon resonance and showed a high affinity binding (K(A) = 5 x 10(7), K(D) = 2.3 x 10(-)(8)). Mutant pneumococci lacking Hic showed no absorption of factor H in human plasma and no binding of radiolabeled factor H, suggesting that Hic is responsible for factor H-binding in type 3 pneumococci. Factor H-dependent inhibition of the alternative pathway was not di...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Human plasma
Biochemical Pathway
Bacterial Proteins
Pathogenic Organism
Surface Properties
SFTPC
Plasma Protein Binding Capacity
CFH
Protein Domain
Metabolic Inhibition

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