AbstractsBiology & Animal Science


Adhesion, immune evasion and invasion are key determinants during bacterial pathogenesis. Pathogenic bacteria possess a wide variety of surface exposed and secreted proteins which allow them to adhere to tissues, escape the immune system and spread throughout the human body. Therefore, extensive contacts between the human and the bacterial extracellular proteomes take place at the host-pathogen interface at the protein level. Recent researches emphasized the importance of a global and deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms which underlie bacterial immune evasion and pathogenesis. Through the use of a large-scale, unbiased, protein microarray-based approach and of wide libraries of human and bacterial purified proteins, novel host-pathogen interactions were identified. This approach was first applied to Staphylococcus aureus, cause of a wide variety of diseases ranging from skin infections to endocarditis and sepsis. The screening led to the identification of several novel interactions between the human and the S. aureus extracellular proteomes. The interaction between the S. aureus immune evasion protein FLIPr (formyl-peptide receptor like-1 inhibitory protein) and the human complement component C1q, key players of the offense-defense fighting, was characterized using label-free techniques and functional assays. The same approach was also applied to Neisseria meningitidis, major cause of bacterial meningitis and fulminant sepsis worldwide. The screening led to the identification of several potential human receptors for the neisserial adhesin A (NadA), an important adhesion protein and key determinant of meningococcal interactions with the human host at various stages. The interaction between NadA and human LOX-1 (low-density oxidized lipoprotein receptor) was confirmed using label-free technologies and cell binding experiments in vitro. Taken together, these two examples provided concrete insights into S. aureus and N. meningitidis pathogenesis, and identified protein microarray coupled with appropriate validation methodologies as a powerful large scale tool for host-pathogen interactions studies.