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PLOS ONE  2012 

Trimeric Form of Intracellular ATP Synthase Subunit β of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Binds Human Interleukin-1β

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018929

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Abstract:

Bacterial biofilms resist host defenses and antibiotics partly because of their decreased metabolism. Some bacteria use proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β, as cues to promote biofilm formation and to alter virulence. Although one potential bacterial IL-1β receptor has been identified, current knowledge of the bacterial IL-1β sensing mechanism is limited. In chronic biofilm infection, periodontitis, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans requires tight adherence (tad)-locus to form biofilms, and tissue destroying active lesions contain more IL-1β than inactive ones. The effect of IL-1β on the metabolic activity of A. actinomycetemcomitans biofilm was tested using alamarBlue?. The binding of IL-1β to A. actinomycetemcomitans cells was investigated using transmission electron microscopy and flow cytometry. To identify the proteins which interacted with IL-1β, different protein fractions from A. actinomycetemcomitans were run in native-PAGE and blotted using biotinylated IL-1β and avidin-HRP, and identified using mass spectroscopy. We show that although IL-1β slightly increases the biofilm formation of A. actinomycetemcomitans, it reduces the metabolic activity of the biofilm. A similar reduction was observed with all tad-locus mutants except the secretin mutant, although all tested mutant strains as well as wild type strains bound IL-1β. Our results suggest that IL-1β might be transported into the A. actinomycetemcomitans cells, and the trimeric form of intracellular ATP synthase subunit β interacted with IL-1β, possibly explaining the decreased metabolic activity. Because ATP synthase is highly conserved, it might universally enhance biofilm resistance to host defense by binding IL-1β during inflammation.

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