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The role of the bacterial membrane protein ActA in immunity and protection against Listeria monocytogenes


The role of the bacterial membrane protein ActA in immunity and protection against Listeria monocytogenes



Journal of Immunology 161(5): 2414-2420



ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1767

PMID: 9725238

ActA, an essential virulence factor of Listeria monocytogenes, is an integral membrane protein that is required for intracellular motility, cell-to-cell spread, and rapid dissemination of the bacteria in the infected host. To reveal cytotoxic T cell responses against ActA we introduced a recombinant soluble form of ActA into the MHC class I-processing compartment of APC using a variant of listeriolysin mutated within its immunodominant MHC class I epitope. With this experimental system we demonstrate that T cells are induced against ActA during a sublethal infection with L. monocytogenes. However, adoptively transferred cytotoxic CD8+ T cells specific for ActA did not protect mice against a subsequent challenge with this pathogen. This was due to an inability of APC to present ActA by either MHC class I or class II molecules as long as ActA remained tethered to the surface of intracellular viable bacteria. ActA was only presented when L. monocytogenes were engineered to secrete ActA or when the bacteria were killed by antibiotics during the assay. These findings raise questions on the general use of membrane proteins of pathogens as candidates for subunit vaccines.

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Accession: 018178794

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Related references

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