Publications by Year: 2008


Torrelles, Jordi B, Rose Knaup, Avina Kolareth, Tatiana Slepushkina, Thomas M Kaufman, Peter Kang, Preston J Hill, et al. (2008) 2008. “Identification of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Clinical Isolates With Altered Phagocytosis by Human Macrophages Due to a Truncated Lipoarabinomannan”. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 283 (46): 31417-28.

Phenotypically distinct clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are capable of altering the balance that exists between the pathogen and human host and ultimately the outcome of infection. This study has identified two M. tuberculosis strains (i.e. HN885 and HN1554) among a bank of clinical isolates with a striking defect in phagocytosis by primary human macrophages when compared with strain Erdman, a commonly used laboratory strain for studies of pathogenesis. Mass spectrometry in conjunction with NMR studies unequivocally confirmed that both HN885 and HN1554 contain truncated and more branched forms of mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM) with a marked reduction of their linear arabinan (corresponding mainly to the inner Araf-alpha(1–>5)-Araf unit) and mannan (with fewer 6-Manp residues and more substitutions in the linear Manp-alpha(1–>6)-Manp unit) domains. The truncation in the ManLAM molecules produced by strains HN885 and HN1554 led to a significant reduction in their surface availability. In addition, there was a marked reduction of higher order phosphatidyl-myo-inositol mannosides and the presence of dimycocerosates, triglycerides, and phenolic glycolipid in their cell envelope. Less exposed ManLAM and reduced higher order phosphatidyl-myo-inositol mannosides in strains HN885 and HN1554 resulted in their low association with the macrophage mannose receptor. Despite reduced phagocytosis, ingested bacilli replicated at a fast rate following serum opsonization. Our results provide evidence that the clinical spectrum of tuberculosis may be dictated not only by the host but also by the amounts and ratios of surface exposed mycobacterial adherence factors defined by strain genotype.

Azad, Abul K, Jordi B Torrelles, and Larry S Schlesinger. (2008) 2008. “Mutation in the DC-SIGN Cytoplasmic Triacidic Cluster Motif Markedly Attenuates Receptor Activity for Phagocytosis and Endocytosis of Mannose-Containing Ligands by Human Myeloid Cells”. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 84 (6): 1594-603.

The transmembrane C-type lectin, dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN), has three conserved cytoplasmic tail motifs: the tyrosine (Y)-based, dileucine (LL), and triacidic cluster (EEE), which are believed to regulate ligand binding, uptake, and trafficking. We mutated each of these motifs by alanine substitution and tested their roles in phagocytosis and receptor-mediated endocytosis of the highly mannosylated ligands, Mycobacterium tuberculosis mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM) and HIV-1 surface glycoprotein gp120, respectively, in transfected human myeloid K-562 cells. Compared with wild-type and other mutants, the EEE mutant of DC-SIGN showed a reduced cell-surface expression, near abolishment in the phagocytosis of ManLAM-coated beads (90.5+/-0.4%), and a marked reduction in the endocytosis of soluble gp120 (79.3+/-0.7%). Although, the Y mutant of DC-SIGN did not exhibit any effect on phagocytosis and intracellular trafficking to the phagolysosome, the LL mutant caused the majority of the receptor and/or ligands to remain bound to the cell surface, indicating a role for the LL motif as an internalization signal. The majority of the EEE mutant protein was found to be retained by the intracellular trans-Golgi network and not by the late endosomal/lysosomal compartment of transfected K-562 cells. Collectively, our data indicate a dual role for the EEE motif as a sorting signal in the secretory pathway and a lysosomal targeting signal in the endocytic pathway.

Torrelles, J B, A K Azad, L N Henning, T K Carlson, and L S Schlesinger. (2008) 2008. “Role of C-Type Lectins in Mycobacterial Infections”. Current Drug Targets 9 (2): 102-12.

Worldwide clinical cases due to multi drug- and extensively drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) are increasing making the need for new therapies more critical than ever. A major obstacle for designing new drugs to treat mycobacterial infections is our limited knowledge of the interface between the bacillus (especially M.tb) and its host. The pulmonary innate immune system plays a key role in the recognition of microbes entering via the respiratory route. Although the specificity of this system is broad and based on the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), it is uniquely regulated to limit inflammation and thereby prevent damage to the gas-exchanging alveoli. Pulmonary surfactant proteins A and D (SP-A and SP-D) are collagenous, soluble, C-type (Ca(2+)-dependent) lectins (named collectins) of the lung innate immune system that are secreted into the alveoli by resident type II alveolar epithelial cells and distal bronchiolar Clara cells. The related collectin in serum, mannose-binding lectin/protein (MBL or MBP), provides first-line defense against several microbes. Phagocytes represent the first cellular defense in the alveoli and their surface is rich in C-type lectin pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), including the mannose receptor (MR), dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) and DC-associated C-type lectin-1 (Dectin-1). This review will discuss the important roles of the cell-associated C-type lectin PRRs and soluble collectins in the innate immune response to mycobacterial infections, and will present the current state of knowledge regarding the potential uses of these C-type lectins in therapy against infections, focusing on M.tb.