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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of the phosphorylation of human pharyngeal cell proteins by group A streptococcal surface dehydrogenase: signal transduction between streptococci and pharyngeal cells.

Whether cell-to-cell communication results when group A streptococci interact with their target cells is unknown. Here, we report that upon contact with cultured human pharyngeal cells, both whole streptococci and purified streptococcal surface dehydrogenase ( SDH) activate pharyngeal cell protein tyrosine kinase as well as protein kinase C, thus regulating the phosphorylation of cellular proteins. SDH, a major surface protein of group A streptococci, has both glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and ADP-ribosylating enzyme activities that may relate to early stages of streptococcal infection. Intact streptococci and purified SDH induce a similar protein phosphorylation pattern with the de novo tyrosine phosphorylation of a 17-kD protein found in the membrane/particulate fraction of the pharyngeal cells. However, this phosphorylation required the presence of cytosolic components. NH2-terminal amino acid sequence analysis identified the 17-kD protein as nuclear core histone H3. Both phosphotyrosine and phosphoserine-specific monoclonal antibodies reacted with the 17-kD protein by Western blot, suggesting that the binding of SDH to these pharyngeal cells elicits a novel signaling pathway that ultimately leads to activation of histone H3-specific kinases. Genistein-inhibitable phosphorylation of histone H3 indicates that tyrosine kinase plays a key role in this event. Treatment of pharyngeal cells with protein kinase inhibitors such as genistein and staurosporine significantly inhibited streptococcal invasion of pharyngeal cells. Therefore, these data indicated that streptococci/ SDH-mediated phosphorylation plays a critical role in bacterial entry into the host cell. To identify the membrane receptor that elicits these signaling events, we found that SDH bound specifically to 30- and 32-kD membrane proteins in a direct ligand-binding assay. These findings clearly suggest that SDH plays an important role in cellular communication between streptococci and pharyngeal cells that may be important in host cell gene transcription, and hence in the pathogenesis of streptococcal infection.[1]


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