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Calprotectin is a heterodimer of the proteins S100A8 and S100A9, and it is an abundant innate immune protein associated with inflammation. In humans, calprotectin transcription and protein abundance are associated with asthma and disease severity. However, mechanistic studies in experimental asthma models have been inconclusive, identifying both protective and pathogenic effects of calprotectin. To clarify the role of calprotectin in asthma, calprotectin-deficient and wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice were compared in a murine model of allergic airway inflammation. Mice were intranasally challenged with extracts of the clinically relevant allergen, (Alt Ext), or PBS every third day over 9 days. On Day 10, BAL fluid and lung tissue homogenates were harvested and allergic airway inflammation was assessed. Alt Ext challenge induced release of S100A8/S100A9 to the alveolar space and increased protein expression in the alveolar epithelium of WT mice. Compared with WT mice, mice displayed significantly enhanced allergic airway inflammation, including production of IL-13, CCL11, CCL24, serum IgE, eosinophil recruitment, and airway resistance and elastance. In response to Alt Ext, mice accumulated significantly more IL-13IL-5CD4 T-helper type 2 cells. mice also accumulated a significantly lower proportion of CD4 T regulatory (Treg) cells in the lung that had significantly lower expression of CD25. Calprotectin enhanced WT Treg cell suppressive activity . Therefore, this study identifies a role for the innate immune protein, S100A9, in protection from CD4 T-helper type 2 cell hyperinflammation in response to Alt Ext. This protection is mediated, at least in part, by CD4 Treg cell function.
Calgranulin genes (S100A8, S100A9 and S100A12) play key immune response roles in inflammatory disorders, including cardiovascular disease. Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) may have systemic and adipose tissue-specific anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective action. Interactions between calgranulins and the unsaturated fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA) have been reported, yet little is known about the relationship between calgranulins and the LC n-3 PUFA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). We explored tissue-specific action of calgranulins in the setting of evoked endotoxemia and n-3 PUFA supplementation. Expression of calgranulins in adipose tissue in vivo was assessed by RNA sequencing (RNASeq) before and after n-3 PUFA supplementation and evoked endotoxemia in the fenofibrate and omega-3 fatty acid modulation of endotoxemia (FFAME) Study. Subjects received n-3 PUFA (n = 8; 3600mg/day EPA/DHA) or matched placebo (n = 6) for 6-8 weeks, before completing an endotoxin challenge (LPS 0.6 ng/kg). Calgranulin genes were up-regulated post-LPS, with greater increase in n-3 PUFA (S100A8 15-fold, p = 0.003; S100A9 7-fold, p = 0.003; S100A12 28-fold, p = 0.01) compared to placebo (S100A8 2-fold, p = 0.01; S100A9 1.4-fold, p = 0.4; S100A12 5-fold, p = 0.06). In an independent evoked endotoxemia study, calgranulin gene expression correlated with the systemic inflammatory response. Through in vivo and in vitro interrogation we highlight differential responses in adipocytes and mononuclear cells during inflammation, with n-3 PUFA leading to increased calgranulin expression in adipose, but decreased expression in circulating cells. In conclusion, we present a novel relationship between n-3 PUFA anti-inflammatory action in vivo and cell-specific modulation of calgranulin expression during innate immune activation.
Clostridium difficile is the most commonly reported nosocomial pathogen in the United States and is an urgent public health concern worldwide. Over the past decade, incidence, severity and costs associated with C. difficile infection (CDI) have increased dramatically. CDI is most commonly initiated by antibiotic-mediated disruption of the gut microbiota; however, non-antibiotic-associated CDI cases are well documented and on the rise. This suggests that unexplored environmental, nutrient and host factors probably influence CDI. Here we show that excess dietary zinc (Zn) substantially alters the gut microbiota and, in turn, reduces the minimum amount of antibiotics needed to confer susceptibility to CDI. In mice colonized with C. difficile, excess dietary Zn severely exacerbated C. difficile-associated disease by increasing toxin activity and altering the host immune response. In addition, we show that the Zn-binding S100 protein calprotectin has antimicrobial effects against C. difficile and is an essential component of the innate immune response to CDI. Taken together, these data suggest that nutrient Zn levels have a key role in determining susceptibility to CDI and severity of disease, and that calprotectin-mediated metal limitation is an important factor in the host immune response to C. difficile.
Calprotectin, a heterodimer of S100A8 and S100A9, is an abundant neutrophil protein that possesses antimicrobial activity primarily because of its ability to chelate zinc and manganese. In the current study, we showed that neutrophils from calprotectin-deficient S100A9(-/-) mice have an impaired ability to inhibit Aspergillus fumigatus hyphal growth in vitro and in infected corneas in a murine model of fungal keratitis; however, the ability to inhibit hyphal growth was restored in S100A9(-/-) mice by injecting recombinant calprotectin. Furthermore, using recombinant calprotectin with mutations in either the Zn and Mn binding sites or the Mn binding site alone, we show that both zinc and manganese binding are necessary for calprotectin's antihyphal activity. In contrast to hyphae, we found no role for neutrophil calprotectin in uptake or killing of intracellular A. fumigatus conidia either in vitro or in a murine model of pulmonary aspergillosis. We also found that an A. fumigatus ∆zafA mutant, which demonstrates deficient zinc transport, exhibits impaired growth in infected corneas and following incubation with neutrophils or calprotectin in vitro as compared with wild-type. Collectively, these studies demonstrate a novel stage-specific susceptibility of A. fumigatus to zinc and manganese chelation by neutrophil-derived calprotectin.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most commonly identified pathogen in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Myeloid-related protein (MRP) 8/14 is a major component of neutrophils that is released upon infection or injury. MRP8/14 is essential for protective immunity during infection by a variety of micro-organisms through its capacity to chelate manganese and zinc. Here, we aimed to determine the role of MRP8/14 in pneumococcal pneumonia.
METHODS - MRP8/14 was determined in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and serum of CAP patients, in lung tissue of patients who had succumbed to pneumococcal pneumonia, and in BALF of healthy subjects challenged with lipoteichoic acid (a component of the gram-positive bacterial cell wall) via the airways. Pneumonia was induced in MRP14 deficient and normal wildtype mice. The effect of MRP8/14 on S. pneumoniae growth was studied in vitro.
RESULTS - CAP patients displayed high MRP8/14 levels in BALF, lung tissue and serum. Healthy subjects challenged with lipoteichoic acid demonstrated elevated MRP8/14 in BALF. Likewise, mice with pneumococcal pneumonia had high MRP8/14 levels in lungs and the circulation. MRP14 deficiency, however, was associated with reduced bacterial growth and lethality, in the absence of notable effects on the inflammatory response. High zinc levels strongly inhibited growth of S. pneumoniae in vitro, which was partially reversed by MRP8/14.
CONCLUSIONS - In sharp contrast to its previously reported host-protective role in several infections, the present results reveal that in a model of CAP, MRP8/14 is misused by S. pneumoniae, facilitating bacterial growth by attenuating zinc toxicity toward the pathogen.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Acinetobacter baumannii is a leading cause of ventilator-associated pneumonia in intensive care units, and the increasing rates of antibiotic resistance make treating these infections challenging. Consequently, there is an urgent need to develop new antimicrobials to treat A. baumannii infections. One potential therapeutic option is to target bacterial systems involved in maintaining appropriate metal homeostasis, processes that are critical for the growth of pathogens within the host. The A. baumannii inner membrane zinc transporter ZnuABC is required for growth under low-zinc conditions and for A. baumannii pathogenesis. The expression of znuABC is regulated by the transcriptional repressor Zur. To investigate the role of Zur during the A. baumannii response to zinc limitation, a zur deletion mutant was generated, and transcriptional changes were analyzed using RNA sequencing. A number of Zur-regulated genes were identified that exhibit increased expression both when zur is absent and under low-zinc conditions, and Zur binds to predicted Zur box sequences of several genes affected by zinc levels or the zur mutation. Furthermore, the zur mutant is impaired for growth in the presence of both high and low zinc levels compared to wild-type A. baumannii. Finally, the zur mutant exhibits a defect in dissemination in a mouse model of A. baumannii pneumonia, establishing zinc sensing as a critical process during A. baumannii infection. These results define Zur-regulated genes within A. baumannii and demonstrate a requirement for Zur in the A. baumannii response to the various zinc levels experienced within the vertebrate host.
Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Imaging MS is routinely used to show spatial localization of proteins within a tissue sample and can also be employed to study temporal protein dynamics. The antimicrobial S100 protein calprotectin, a heterodimer of subunits S100A8 and S100A9, is an abundant cytosolic component of neutrophils. Using imaging MS, calprotectin can be detected as a marker of the inflammatory response to bacterial challenge. In a murine model of Acinetobacter baumannii pneumonia, protein images of S100A8 and S100A9 collected at different time points throughout infection aid in visualization of the innate immune response to this pathogen. Calprotectin is detectable within 6 h of infection as immune cells respond to the invading pathogen. As the bacterial burden decreases, signals from the inflammatory proteins decrease. Calprotectin is no longer detectable 96-144 h post infection, correlating to a lack of detectable bacterial burden in lungs. These experiments provide a label-free, multiplexed approach to study host response to a bacterial threat and eventual clearance of the pathogen over time.
© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
The S100A8/S100A9 heterodimer calprotectin (CP) functions in the host response to pathogens through a mechanism termed "nutritional immunity." CP binds Mn(2+) and Zn(2+) with high affinity and starves bacteria of these essential nutrients. Combining biophysical, structural, and microbiological analysis, we identified the molecular basis of Mn(2+) sequestration. The asymmetry of the CP heterodimer creates a single Mn(2+)-binding site from six histidine residues, which distinguishes CP from all other Mn(2+)-binding proteins. Analysis of CP mutants with altered metal-binding properties revealed that, despite both Mn(2+) and Zn(2+) being essential metals, maximal growth inhibition of multiple bacterial pathogens requires Mn(2+) sequestration. These data establish the importance of Mn(2+) sequestration in defense against infection, explain the broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity of CP relative to other S100 proteins, and clarify the impact of metal depletion on the innate immune response to infection.
The complex formed by two members of the S100 calcium-binding protein family, S100A8/A9, exerts apoptosis-inducing activity in various cells of different origins. Here, we present evidence that the underlying molecular mechanisms involve both programmed cell death I (PCD I, apoptosis) and PCD II (autophagy)-like death. Treatment of cells with S100A8/A9 caused the increase of Beclin-1 expression as well as Atg12-Atg5 formation. S100A8/A9-induced cell death was partially inhibited by the specific PI3-kinase class III inhibitor, 3-methyladenine (3-MA), and by the vacuole H(+)-ATPase inhibitor, bafilomycin-A1 (Baf-A1). S100A8/A9 provoked the translocation of BNIP3, a BH3 only pro-apoptotic Bcl2 family member, to mitochondria. Consistent with this finding, DeltaTM-BNIP3 overexpression partially inhibited S100A8/A9-induced cell death, decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and partially protected against the decrease in mitochondrial transmembrane potential in S100A8/A9-treated cells. In addition, either DeltaTM-BNIP3 overexpression or N-acetyl-L-cysteine co-treatment decreased lysosomal activation in cells treated with S100A8/A9. Our data indicate that S100A8/A9-promoted cell death occurs through the cross-talk of mitochondria and lysosomes via ROS and the process involves BNIP3.
Correlations exist between the abundance of S100 proteins and disease pathologies. Indeed, this is evidenced by the heterodimeric S100 protein complex S100A8/A9 which has been shown to be involved in inflammatory and neoplastic disorders. However, S100A8/A9 appears as a Janus-faced molecule in this context. On the one hand, it is a powerful apoptotic agent produced by immune cells, making it a very fascinating tool in the battle against cancer. It spears the risk to induce auto-immune response and may serve as a lead compound for cancer-selective therapeutics. In contrast, S100A8/A9 expression in cancer cells has also been associated with tumor development, cancer invasion or metastasis. Clearly, there is a dichotomy and future investigations into the role of S100A8/A9 in cancer biology need to consider both sides of the same coin.