Title

M16-Type metallopeptidases are involved in virulence for invasiveness and diffusion of leptospira interrogans and transmission of leptospirosis

ORCiD

David M. Ojcius: 0000-0003-1461-4495

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Infectious Diseases

ISSN

0022-1899

Volume

222

Issue

6

DOI

10.1093/infdis/jiaa176

First Page

1008

Last Page

1020

Publication Date

9-15-2020

Abstract

Background. Leptospirosis is a global zoonotic infectious disease caused by Leptospira interrogans. The pathogen rapidly invades into hosts and diffuses from bloodstream into internal organs and excretes from urine to cause transmission of leptospirosis. However, the mechanism of leptospiral invasiveness remains poorly understood. Methods. Proteolytic activity of M16-type metallopeptidases (Lep-MP1/2/3) of L. interrogans was determined by spectrophotometry. Expression and secretion of Lep-MP1/2/3 during infection of cells were detected by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blot assay, and confocal microscopy. Deletion and complementation mutants of the genes encoding Lep-MP1/2/3 were generated to determine the roles of Lep-MP1/2/3 in invasiveness using transwell assay and virulence in hamsters. Results. Leptospira interrogans but not saprophytic Leptospira biflexa strains were detectable for Lep-MP-1/2/3-encoding genes. rLep-MP1/2/3 hydrolyzed extracellular matrix proteins, but rLep-MP1/3 displayed stronger proteolysis than rLep-MP2, with 123.179/340.136 μmol/L Km and 0.154/0.159 s-1 Kcat values. Expression, secretion and translocation of Lep-MP1/2/3 during infection of cells were increased. ΔMP1/3 but not ΔMP2 mutant presented attenuated transmigration through cell monolayers, decreased leptospiral loading in the blood, lungs, liver, kidneys, and urine, and 10/13-fold decreased 50% lethal dose and milder histopathologic injury in hamsters. Conclusions. Lep-MP1 and 3 are involved in virulence of L. interrogans in invasion into hosts and diffusion in vivo, and transmission of leptospirosis.

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