Cytotoxic activities of Leptospira interrogans hemolysin SphH as a pore-forming protein on mammalian cells

S. H. Lee, S. Kim, S. C. Park, Ja Kim Min

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Abstract

Leptospirosis is a spirochetal zoonosis that causes an acute febrile systemic illness in humans. Leptospira sp. hemolysins have been shown to be virulence factors for the pathogenesis of leptospirosis. Previously, we cloned a hemolysin SphH of Leptospira interrogans serovar lai, a homologue of L. borgpetersenii sphingomyelinase (SphA), from a genomic library (S. H. Lee, K. A. Kim, Y. K. Kim, I. W. Seong, M. J. Kim, and Y. J. Lee, Gene 254:19-28, 2000). Escherichia coli lysate harboring the sphH showed high hemolytic activities on sheep erythrocytes. However, it neither showed sphingomyelinase nor phospholipase activities, in contrast to SphA which was known to have sphingomyelinase activity. Interestingly, the SphH-mediated hemolysis on erythrocytes was osmotically protected by PEG 5000, suggesting that the SphH might have caused pore formation on the erythrocyte membrane. In the present study, we have prepared the Leptospira hemolysin SphH and investigated its hemolytic and cytotoxic activities on mammalian cells. SphH was shown to be a pore-forming protein on several mammalian cells: When treated with the SphH, the sheep erythrocyte membranes formed pores, which were morphologically confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, the SphH-mediated cytotoxicities on mammalian cells were demonstrated by the release of LDH and by inverted microscopic examinations. Finally, the immune serum against the full-length hemolysin could effectively neutralize the SphH-mediated hemolytic and cytotoxic activities. In conclusion, these results suggest that the virulence of Leptospira SphH was due to the pore formation on mammalian cell membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan 15

Fingerprint

Leptospira interrogans
Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase
Porins
Hemolysin Proteins
Leptospira
Leptospirosis
Erythrocyte Membrane
Sheep
Erythrocytes
Genomic Library
Phospholipases
Zoonoses
Virulence Factors
Hemolysis
Transmission Electron Microscopy
Virulence
Immune Sera
Fever
Cell Membrane
Escherichia coli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Cytotoxic activities of Leptospira interrogans hemolysin SphH as a pore-forming protein on mammalian cells. / Lee, S. H.; Kim, S.; Park, S. C.; Min, Ja Kim.

In: Infection and Immunity, Vol. 70, No. 1, 15.01.2002, p. 315-322.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Leptospirosis is a spirochetal zoonosis that causes an acute febrile systemic illness in humans. Leptospira sp. hemolysins have been shown to be virulence factors for the pathogenesis of leptospirosis. Previously, we cloned a hemolysin SphH of Leptospira interrogans serovar lai, a homologue of L. borgpetersenii sphingomyelinase (SphA), from a genomic library (S. H. Lee, K. A. Kim, Y. K. Kim, I. W. Seong, M. J. Kim, and Y. J. Lee, Gene 254:19-28, 2000). Escherichia coli lysate harboring the sphH showed high hemolytic activities on sheep erythrocytes. However, it neither showed sphingomyelinase nor phospholipase activities, in contrast to SphA which was known to have sphingomyelinase activity. Interestingly, the SphH-mediated hemolysis on erythrocytes was osmotically protected by PEG 5000, suggesting that the SphH might have caused pore formation on the erythrocyte membrane. In the present study, we have prepared the Leptospira hemolysin SphH and investigated its hemolytic and cytotoxic activities on mammalian cells. SphH was shown to be a pore-forming protein on several mammalian cells: When treated with the SphH, the sheep erythrocyte membranes formed pores, which were morphologically confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, the SphH-mediated cytotoxicities on mammalian cells were demonstrated by the release of LDH and by inverted microscopic examinations. Finally, the immune serum against the full-length hemolysin could effectively neutralize the SphH-mediated hemolytic and cytotoxic activities. In conclusion, these results suggest that the virulence of Leptospira SphH was due to the pore formation on mammalian cell membranes.",
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AB - Leptospirosis is a spirochetal zoonosis that causes an acute febrile systemic illness in humans. Leptospira sp. hemolysins have been shown to be virulence factors for the pathogenesis of leptospirosis. Previously, we cloned a hemolysin SphH of Leptospira interrogans serovar lai, a homologue of L. borgpetersenii sphingomyelinase (SphA), from a genomic library (S. H. Lee, K. A. Kim, Y. K. Kim, I. W. Seong, M. J. Kim, and Y. J. Lee, Gene 254:19-28, 2000). Escherichia coli lysate harboring the sphH showed high hemolytic activities on sheep erythrocytes. However, it neither showed sphingomyelinase nor phospholipase activities, in contrast to SphA which was known to have sphingomyelinase activity. Interestingly, the SphH-mediated hemolysis on erythrocytes was osmotically protected by PEG 5000, suggesting that the SphH might have caused pore formation on the erythrocyte membrane. In the present study, we have prepared the Leptospira hemolysin SphH and investigated its hemolytic and cytotoxic activities on mammalian cells. SphH was shown to be a pore-forming protein on several mammalian cells: When treated with the SphH, the sheep erythrocyte membranes formed pores, which were morphologically confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, the SphH-mediated cytotoxicities on mammalian cells were demonstrated by the release of LDH and by inverted microscopic examinations. Finally, the immune serum against the full-length hemolysin could effectively neutralize the SphH-mediated hemolytic and cytotoxic activities. In conclusion, these results suggest that the virulence of Leptospira SphH was due to the pore formation on mammalian cell membranes.

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