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      Mice lacking neutrophil elastase reveal impaired host defense against gram negative bacterial sepsis

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          Abstract

          Neutrophil elastase (NE) is a potent serine proteinase whose expression is limited to a narrow window during myeloid development. In neutrophils, NE is stored in azurophil granules along with other serine proteinases (cathepsin G, proteinase 3 and azurocidin) at concentrations exceeding 5 mM. As a result of its capacity to efficiently degrade extracellular matrix, NE has been implicated in a variety of destructive diseases. Indeed, while much interest has focused on the pathologic effects of this enzyme, little is known regarding its normal physiologic function(s). Because previous in vitro data have shown that NE exhibits antibacterial activity, we investigated the role of NE in host defense against bacteria. Generating strains of mice deficient in NE (NE-/-) by targeted mutagenesis, we show that NE-/- mice are more susceptible than their normal littermates to sepsis and death following intraperitoneal infection with Gram negative (Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli) but not Gram positive (Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria. Our data indicate that neutrophils migrate normally to sites of infection in the absence of NE, but that NE is required for maximal intracellular killing of Gram negative bacteria by neutrophils.

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          Survival of FimH-expressing enterobacteria in macrophages relies on glycolipid traffic.

          Strains of Escherichia coli persist within the human gut as normal commensals, but are frequent pathogens and can cause recurrent infection. Here we show that, in contrast to E. coli subjected to opsonic interactions stimulated by the host's immune response, E. coli that bind to the macrophage surface exclusively through the bacterial lectin FimH can survive inside the cell following phagocytosis. This viability is largely due to the attenuation of intracellular free-radical release and of phagosome acidification during FimH-mediated internalization, both of which are triggered by antibody-mediated internalization. This different processing of non-opsonized bacteria is supported by morphological evidence of tight-fitting phagosomes compared with looser, antibody-mediated phagosomes. We propose that non-opsonized FimH-expressing E. coli co-opt internalization of lipid-rich microdomains following binding to the FimH receptor, the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked protein CD48, because (1) the sterol-binding agents filipin, nystatin and methyl beta-cyclodextrin specifically block FimH-mediated internalization; (2) CD48 and the protein caveolin both accumulate on macrophage membranes surrounding bacteria; and (3) antibodies against CD48 inhibit FimH-mediated internalization. Our findings bring the traditionally extracellular E. coli into the realm of opportunistic intracellular parasitism and suggest how opportunistic infections with FimH-expressing enterobacteria could occur in a setting deprived of opsonizing antibodies.
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            Relationships among capsular structure, phagocytosis, and mouse virulence in Klebsiella pneumoniae.

            Klebsiella pneumoniae strains of the K2 capsular serotype are usually highly virulent in mice, which is in contrast to the low virulence of most other serotypes. Here we used a genetic approach to examine the relative contribution of capsule type to the virulence of K. pneumoniae in mice. We used wild-type strains expressing capsular polysaccharide (CPS) serotypes K2 (strain KPA1) and K21a (strains KPB1 and KPC1), which were then used to construct capsule-switched derivatives. The close proximity of the cps gene cluster to selectable his markers made it possible to mobilize the cps genes by conjugation from one serotype (donor) to another (recipient) and to obtain recombinants in which interserotype switching had occurred by reciprocal recombination. Each capsule-switched derivative examined of the KPA and KPC strain backgrounds produced a CPS that was immunologically and structurally identical to that of the donor. Strain background was confirmed by demonstrating restriction fragment length polymorphism patterns identical to those of the respective recipients. The parent strains were then compared with capsule-switched recombinants for phenotypic properties associated with virulence. Clearance from the bloodstreams of mice was rapid in serotype K21a strains of either wild-type or recombinant origin, whereas K2 strains remained viable in the blood during the period examined. These differences appeared to be dependent upon the CPS type but independent of strain background. Binding to macrophages was higher in K21a strains than in those with the K2 capsule and was also independent of the strain background. Both blood clearance and macrophage-binding activities were completely inhibited by yeast mannan, suggesting that they were mediated via the macrophage mannose receptor. The K2 parent strain was highly virulent to mice (50% lethal dose [LD50], 3 x 10(3)), while the K21a parent strains demonstrated low virulence (LD50, > 2 x 10(8)). Interestingly, the virulence of recombinant KPC10(cpsK2), originally of the KPC1(cpsK21a) background, was intermediate (LD50, 4 x 10(5)). In contrast, both cpsK21a recombinants of the originally virulent KPA1 (cpsK2) background became nearly avirulent (LD50, > 2 x 10(8)). Six additional serotypes (K12, K24, K32, K55, K62, and K67) were examined, and all showed a positive correlation between the ability of the Klebsiella serotype to interact with a human mannose receptor, as expressed by Cos I cell recombinants, and the LD50 of the serotype. These results suggest that expression of a capsule which is recognized by the mannose receptor markedly affects the interaction with macrophages and blood clearance.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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              Primary structure of human neutrophil elastase.

              The complete amino acid sequence of human neutrophil elastase has been determined. The protein consists of 218 amino acid residues, contains two asparagine-linked carbohydrate side chains, and is joined together by four disulfide bonds. Comparison of the sequence to other serine proteinases indicates only moderate homology with porcine pancreatic elastase (43.0%) or neutrophil cathepsin G (37.2%). In particular, many of the residues suggested to play important roles in the mechanism by which the pancreatic elastase functions are significantly changed in the neutrophil enzyme, indicating alternative types of binding with the human proteinase.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Medicine
                Nat Med
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1078-8956
                1546-170X
                May 1998
                May 1998
                : 4
                : 5
                : 615-618
                Article
                10.1038/nm0598-615
                9585238
                a8da89eb-5b3a-4856-864c-ceb81271f43b
                © 1998

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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