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Cell surface-associated elongation factor Tu mediates the attachment of Lactobacillus johnsonii NCC533 (La1) to human intestinal cells and mucins.

Granato D., Bergonzelli G.E., Pridmore R.D., Marvin L., Rouvet M., Corthesy-Theulaz I.E.

The aim of this work was to identify Lactobacillus johnsonii NCC533 (La1) surface molecules mediating attachment to intestinal epithelial cells and mucins. Incubation of Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells with an L. johnsonii La1 cell wall extract led to the recognition of elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) as a novel La1 adhesin-like factor. The presence of EF-Tu at the surface of La1 was confirmed by analysis of purified outer surface protein extract by immunoblotting experiments, by electron microscopy, and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of live bacteria. Furthermore, tandem mass spectrometry analysis proved that EF-TU was expressed at the La1 surface as an intact molecule. Using recombinant La1 EF-Tu protein, we were able to determine that its binding to intestinal cells and to mucins is pH dependent. Competition experiments suggested that EF-Tu has an important role in La1 mucin binding capacity. In addition, immunomodulation studies performed on HT29 cells showed that EF-Tu recombinant protein can induce a proinflammatory response in the presence of soluble CD14. Our in vitro results indicate that EF-Tu, through its binding to the intestinal mucosa, might participate in gut homeostasis.

Infect. Immun. 72:2160-2169(2004) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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