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Neisseria gonorrhoeae-derived heptose elicits an innate immune response and drives HIV-1 expression.

Malott, Rebecca J; Keller, Bernd O; Gaudet, Ryan G; McCaw, Shannon E; Lai, Christine C L; Dobson-Belaire, Wendy N; Hobbs, J Leigh; St Michael, Frank; Cox, Andrew D; Moraes, Trevor F; Gray-Owen, Scott D.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A; 110(25): 10234-9, 2013 Jun 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23733950
Clinical and epidemiological synergy exists between the globally important sexually transmitted infections, gonorrhea and HIV. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhea, is particularly adept at driving HIV-1 expression, but the molecular determinants of this relationship remain undefined. N. gonorrhoeae liberates a soluble factor that potently induces expression from the HIV-1 LTR in coinfected cluster of differentiation 4-positive (CD4(+)) T lymphocytes, but this factor is not a previously described innate effector. A genome-wide mutagenesis approach was undertaken to reveal which component(s) of N. gonorrhoeae induce HIV-1 expression in CD4(+) T lymphocytes. A mutation in the ADP-heptose biosynthesis gene, hldA, rendered the bacteria unable to induce HIV-1 expression. The hldA mutant has a truncated lipooligosaccharide structure, contains lipid A in its outer membrane, and remains bioactive in a TLR4 reporter-based assay but did not induce HIV-1 expression. Mass spectrometry analysis of extensively fractionated N. gonorrhoeae-derived supernatants revealed that the LTR-inducing fraction contained a compound having a mass consistent with heptose-monophosphate (HMP). Heptose is a carbohydrate common in microbes but is absent from the mammalian glycome. Although ADP-heptose biosynthesis is common among Gram-negative bacteria, and heptose is a core component of most lipopolysaccharides, N. gonorrhoeae is peculiar in that it effectively liberates HMP during growth. This N. gonorrhoeae-derived HMP activates CD4(+) T cells to invoke an NF-κB-dependent transcriptional response that drives HIV-1 expression and viral production. Our study thereby shows that heptose is a microbial-specific product that is sensed as an innate immune agonist and unveils the molecular link between N. gonorrhoeae and HIV-1.
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