Mycoplasmal surface-associated aminopeptidases are multifunctional moonlighting proteins

Smart Science and Technology
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Inflammation and Cell Signaling, 2015, 2 (3), pp. 1 - 4
Issue Date:
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Many bacterial pathogens require adhesion to the mucosal epithelium to establish colonisation and employ numerous strategies to then avoid clearance by the host immune system. One such strategy involves expressing plasminogen receptors on the cell surface. Recently we showed that Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is adept at capturing porcine plasminogen onto cell surface adhesins. This interaction promotes the conversion of bound plasminogen to plasmin where it plays an important role in regulating lung inflammation. Cell surface plasmin triggers a proteolytic cascade that is thought to promote dissemination of the pathogen from the initial site of colonisation. M. hyopneumoniae is a genome-reduced pathogen that has lost the genes required to synthesise amino acids and is thus reliant on the host for amino acids for growth. We have shown M. hyopneumoniae expresses a glutamyl-aminopeptidase (MHJ_0125) and a leucyl-aminopeptidase (MHJ_0461) on the extracellular surface of the cell membrane and both are perceived as playing a key role in the generation of a pool of free amino acids for growth during pathogenesis. MHJ_0461 displays a catalytic preference for leucine, phenylalanine, and methionine, whilst MHJ_0125 demonstrates a preference for glutamic acid and alanine. In addition to their catalytic functions as aminopeptidases, both enzymes bind porcine plasminogen, promoting its conversion to plasmin by tPA, and display an affinity for highly sulphated glycosaminoglycans. MHJ_0461 was also shown to bind extracellular DNA. These studies highlight the multifunctional properties of surface proteins in M. hyopneumoniae and the increasing pool of evidence that moonlighting proteins play important roles during microbial pathogenesis.
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