Binding properties and adhesion-mediating regions of the major sheath protein of Treponema denticola ATCC 35405
Edwards, A. M., Jenkinson, H. F., Woodward, M. J. and Dymock, D. (2005) Binding properties and adhesion-mediating regions of the major sheath protein of Treponema denticola ATCC 35405. Infection and Immunity, 73 (5). pp. 2891-2898. ISSN 0019-9567
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1128/iai.73.5.2891-2898.2005
There is growing evidence that a number of oral Treponema species, in particular Treponema denticola, are associated with the progression of human periodontal disease. The major sheath (or surface) protein (Msp) of T. denticola is implicated in adhesion of bacteria to host cells and tissue proteins and is likely to be an important virulence factor. However, the binding regions of the Msp are not known. We have purified from Escherichia coli recombinant Msp (rMsp) polypeptides corresponding to the following: full-length Msp (rMsp) minus 13 N-terminal amino acid (aa) residues, an amino-terminal fragment (rN-Msp, 189 aa residues), a 57-aa residue segment from the central region (rV-Msp), and a C-terminal fragment (rC-Msp, 272 aa residues). rMsp (530 aa residues) bound to immobilized fibronectin, keratin, laminin, collagen type 1, fibrinogen, hyaluronic acid, and heparin. The N- and V-region polypeptides, but not rC-Msp, also bound to these substrates. Binding of rMsp to fibronectin was targeted to the N-terminal heparin I/fibrin I domain. Antibodies to the N-region or V-region polypeptides, but not antibodies to the rC-Msp fragment, blocked adhesion of T. denticola ATCC 35405 cells to a range of host protein molecules. These results suggest that the N-terminal half of Msp carries epitopes that are surface exposed and that are involved in mediating adhesion. Binding of rMsp onto the cell surface of low-level fibronectin-binding Treponema isolates conferred a 10-fold increase in fibronectin binding. This confirms that Msp functions autonomously as an adhesin and raises the possibility that phenotypic complementation of virulence functions might occur within mixed populations of Treponema species.