Pertactin, an Arg-Gly-Asp-containing Bordetella pertussis surface protein that promotes adherence of mammalian cells.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 1991, 88 (2), pp. 345 - 349
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A 69-kDa protein has been identified on the surface of the Gram-negative pathogen Bordetella pertussis that can elicit a protective immune response in animal models. This protein is associated with virulent strains of B. pertussis but its function has remained unclear. In this report we demonstrate that purified preparations of the 69-kDa outer membrane protein can promote the attachment of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The interaction between the mammalian cells and this protein can be specifically inhibited by an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing synthetic peptide that is homologous with a region found in the 69-kDa protein sequence. These studies indicate that a specific cell binding site containing an Arg-Gly-Asp sequence may be involved in the interaction of this bacterial protein with mammalian cell surfaces. To further investigate the role of this protein as a bacterial adhesin, a mutant of B. pertussis W28 that does not express the 69-kDa protein was constructed using the plasmid vector pRTP1. This mutant was 30-40% less efficient at adhering to CHO cells and to human HeLa cells than was the parent strain. These data support a role for this 69-kDa outer membrane protein in the attachment of B. pertussis to mammalian cells. We propose the name "pertactin" for this protein.
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