The Highly Autoaggregative and Adhesive Phenotype of the Vaginal Lactobacillus plantarum Strain CMPG5300 Is Sortase Dependent
SourceApplied and Environmental Microbiology, 79, 15, (2013), pp. 4576-4585
Article / Letter to editor
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Applied and Environmental Microbiology
SubjectNCMLS 4: Energy and redox metabolism
Lactobacilli are important for the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem in the human vagina. Various mechanisms are postulated but so far are poorly substantiated by molecular studies, such as mutant analysis. Bacterial autoaggregation is an interesting phenomenon that can promote adhesion to host cells and displacement of pathogens. In this study, we report on the identification of a human vaginal isolate, Lactobacillus plantarum strain CMPG5300, which shows high autoaggregative and adhesive capacity. To investigate the importance of sortase-dependent proteins (SDPs) in these phenotypes, a gene deletion mutant was constructed for srtA, the gene encoding the housekeeping sortase that covalently anchors these SDPs to the cell surface. This mutant lost the capacity to autoaggregate, showed a decrease in adhesion to vaginal epithelial cells, and lost biofilm-forming capacity under the conditions tested. These results indicate that the housekeeping sortase SrtA of CMPG5300 is a key determinant of the peculiar surface properties of this vaginal Lactobacillus strain.
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