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VE-cadherin cleavage by LasB protease from Pseudomonas aeruginosa facilitates type III secretion system toxicity in endothelial cells

Guillaume Golovkine 1 Eric Faudry 1 Stéphanie Bouillot 1 Romé Voulhoux 2 Ina Attrée 1 Philippe Huber 1, *
* Corresponding author
1 PBRC - Pathogenèse bactérienne et réponses cellulaires
BCI - Biologie du Cancer et de l'Infection, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : ERL 526
Abstract : Infection of the vascular system by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) occurs during bacterial dissemination in the body or in blood-borne infections. Type 3 secretion system (T3SS) toxins from Pa induce a massive retraction when injected into endothelial cells. Here, we addressed the role of type 2 secretion system (T2SS) effectors in this process. Mutants with an inactive T2SS were much less effective than wild-type strains at inducing cell retraction. Furthermore, secretomes from wild-types were sufficient to trigger cell-cell junction opening when applied to cells, while T2SS-inactivated mutants had minimal activity. Intoxication was associated with decreased levels of vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, a homophilic adhesive protein located at endothelial cell-cell junctions. During the process, the protein was cleaved in the middle of its extracellular domain (positions 335 and 349). VE-cadherin attrition was T3SS-independent but T2SS-dependent. Interestingly, the epithelial (E)-cadherin was unaffected by T2SS effectors, indicating that this mechanism is specific to endothelial cells. We showed that one of the T2SS effectors, the protease LasB, directly affected VE-cadherin proteolysis, hence promoting cell-cell junction disruption. Furthermore, mouse infection with Pa to induce acute pneumonia lead to significant decreases in lung VE-cadherin levels, whereas the decrease was minimal with T2SS-inactivated or LasB-deleted mutant strains. We conclude that the T2SS plays a pivotal role during Pa infection of the vascular system by breaching the endothelial barrier, and propose a model in which the T2SS and the T3SS cooperate to intoxicate endothelial cells.
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Guillaume Golovkine, Eric Faudry, Stéphanie Bouillot, Romé Voulhoux, Ina Attrée, et al.. VE-cadherin cleavage by LasB protease from Pseudomonas aeruginosa facilitates type III secretion system toxicity in endothelial cells. PLoS Pathogens, Public Library of Science, 2014, 10 (3), pp.e1003939. ⟨10.1371/journal.ppat.1003939⟩. ⟨hal-01458199⟩

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