Endocytosis of Streptococcus pneumoniae via the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor of epithelial cells relies on clathrin and caveolin dependent mechanisms.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Colonization of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococci) is a prerequisite for bacterial dissemination and their capability to enter the bloodstream. Pneumococci have evolved various successful strategies to colonize the mucosal epithelial barrier of humans. A pivotal mechanism of host cell invasion implicated with invasive diseases is promoted by the interaction of pneumococcal PspC with the polymeric Ig-receptor (pIgR). However, the mechanism(s) of pneumococcal endocytosis and the intracellular route of pneumococci upon uptake by the PspC-pIgR-interaction are not known. Here, we demonstrate by using a combination of pharmacological inhibitors and genetics interference approaches the involvement of active dynamin-dependent caveolae and clathrin-coated vesicles for pneumococcal uptake via the PspC-pIgR mechanism. Depleting cholesterol from host cell membranes and disruption of lipid microdomains impaired pneumococcal internalization. Moreover, chemical inhibition of clathrin or functional inactivation of dynamin, caveolae or clathrin by RNA interference significantly affected pneumococcal internalization suggesting that clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) and caveolae are involved in the bacterial uptake process. Confocal fluorescence microscopy of pIgR-expressing epithelial cells infected with pneumococci or heterologous Lactococcus lactis expressing PspC demonstrated bacterial co-localization with fluorescent-tagged clathrin and early as well as recycling or late endosomal markers such as Lamp1, Rab5, Rab4, and Rab7, respectively. In conclusion these data suggest that PspC-promoted uptake is mediated by both CME and caveolae. After endocytosis pneumococci are routed via the endocytic pathway into early endosomes and are then sorted into recycling or late endosomes, which can result in pneumococcal killing in phagolysosomes or transcytosis via recycling endosomes.


  • Tauseef M Asmat
  • Vaibhav Agarwal
  • Malek Saleh
  • Sven Hammerschmidt
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Mikrobiologi inom det medicinska området
Sidor (från-till)1233-1246
TidskriftInternational Journal of Medical Microbiology
StatusPublished - 2014
Peer review utfördJa