Trimeric Autotransporter Adhesins (TAA) found in Gram-negative bacteria play a key role in virulence. This is the case of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc), a group of related bacteria able to cause infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. These bacteria use TAAs, among other virulence factors, to bind to host protein receptors and their carbohydrate ligands. Blocking such contacts is an attractive approach to inhibit Bcc infections. In this study, using an antibody produced against the TAA BCAM2418 from the epidemic strain Burkholderia cenocepacia K56-2, we were able to uncover its roles as an adhesin and the type of host glycan structures that serve as recognition targets. The neutralization of BCAM2418 was found to cause a reduction in the adhesion of the bacteria to bronchial cells and mucins. Moreover, in vivo studies have shown that the anti-BCAM2418 antibody exerted an inhibitory effect during infection in Galleria mellonella. Finally, inferred by glycan arrays, we were able to predict for the first time, host glycan epitopes for a TAA. We show that BCAM2418 favoured binding to 3’sialyl-3-fucosyllactose, histo-blood group A, α-(1,2)-linked Fuc-containing structures, Lewis structures and GM1 gangliosides. Additionally, the glycan microarrays demonstrated similar specificities of Burkholderia species for their most intensely binding carbohydrates. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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