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Immunoglobulin A1 protease, an exoenzyme of pathogenic neisseriae, is a potent inducer of proinflammatory cytokines

Abstract

A characteristic of human pathogenic Neisseriae is the production and secretion of an immunoglobulin (Ig)A1-specific serine protease (IgA1 protease) that cleaves preferentially human IgA1 and other target proteins. Here we show a novel function for native IgA1 protease, i.e., the induction of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, and IL-8 from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The capacity of IgA1 protease to elicit such cytokine responses in monocytes was enhanced in the presence of T lymphocytes. IgA1 protease did not induce the regulatory cytokine IL-10, which was, however, found in response to lipopolysaccharide and phytohemagglutinin. The immunomodulatory effects caused by IgA1 protease require a native form of the enzyme, and denaturation abolished cytokine induction. However, the proteolytic activity is not required for the cytokine induction by IgA1 protease. Our results indicate that IgA1 protease exhibits important immunostimulatory properties and may contribute substantially to the pathogenesis of neisserial infections by inducing large amounts of TNF-alpha and other proinflammatory cytokines. In particular, IgA1 protease may represent a key virulence determinant of bacterial meningitis.

Authors: Lorenzen, D.R., Dux, F., Wolk, U., Tsirpouchtsidis, A., Haas, G., Meyer, T.F
Journal: J Exp Med, 190: 1049-1058
Year: 1999
PubMed: Find in PubMed