We recently reported that the oral mucosal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, through its 67-kDa Mfa1 (minor) fimbria, targets the C-type lectin receptor DC-SIGN for invasion and persistence within human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs). The DCs respond by inducing an immunosuppressive and Th2-biased CD4+ T-cell response. We have now purified the native minor fimbria by ion-exchange chromatography and sequenced the fimbria by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS), confirming its identity and revealing two putative N-glycosylation motifs as well as numerous putative O-glycosylation sites. We further show that the minor fimbria is glycosylated by ProQ staining and that glycosylation is partially removed by treatment with β(1-4)-galactosidase, but not by classic N- and O-linked deglycosidases. Further monosaccharide analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) confirmed that the minor fimbria contains the DC-SIGN-targeting carbohydrates fucose (1.35 nmol/mg), mannose (2.68 nmol/mg), N-acetylglucosamine (2.27 nmol/mg), and N-acetylgalactosamine (0.652 nmol/mg). Analysis by transmission electron microscopy revealed that the minor fimbria forms fibers approximately 200 nm in length that could be involved in targeting or cross-linking DC-SIGN. These findings shed further light on molecular mechanisms of invasion and immunosuppression by this unique mucosal pathogen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology