American Chemical Society
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Iron Sequestration by Murine Calprotectin Induces Starvation Responses in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-01-23, 20:20 authored by Janet J. Y. Peet, Angelica D. Phan, Amanda G. Oglesby, Elizabeth M. Nolan
Pathogen sensing by the mammalian host induces a pro-inflammatory response that involves release of the antimicrobial metal-sequestering protein calprotectin (CP, S100A8/S100A9 heterooligomer, MRP8/MRP14 heterooligomer) from neutrophils. Biochemical investigations on human CP (hCP) have informed the molecular basis of how this protein sequesters metal ions. Murine models of infection have provided invaluable insights into the ability of murine CP (mCP) to compete with bacterial pathogens for essential metal nutrients. Despite this extensive work, our knowledge of how mCP sequesters metals from bacterial pathogens and its impacts on bacterial physiology is limited. Moreover, whether mCP sequesters iron and induces iron-starvation responses in bacterial pathogens has not been evaluated. Here, we examine the ability of mCP to withhold iron from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen that causes severe infections in immunocompromised individuals and cystic fibrosis patients. We demonstrate that mCP prevents iron uptake and induces iron-starvation responses in P. aeruginosa laboratory strains PA14 and PAO1 and the JSRI-1 clinical isolate from a cystic fibrosis patient. We also show that mCP prevents iron uptake and induces an iron-starvation response in the Gram-positive bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. The His6 site of mCP is the iron-sequestering site; it exhibits Ca­(II)-dependent Fe­(II) affinity and binds Fe­(II) with subpicomolar affinity in the presence of excess Ca­(II) ions. This work is important for understanding the structure, function, and physiological consequences of mCP and how the mammalian host and bacterial pathogens compete for essential metal nutrients.