Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B inhibits apoptotic cell clearance by macrophages through protein S cleavage

Chia Ling Chen, Yueh Ying Wu, Chiou Feng Lin, Chih Feng Kuo, Chia Li Han, Shuying Wang, Woei Jer Chuang, Chiu Yueh Chen, Jiunn Jong Wu, Pei Jane Tsai, Ching Chuan Liu, Yee Shin Lin

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Clearance of apoptotic cells by macrophages plays an important role in maintaining tissue homeostasis. Previous study indicated that streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B (SPE B) reduces phagocytic activity in group A streptococcus (GAS) infection. Here, we demonstrate that SPE B causes an inhibitory effect on protein S-mediated phagocytosis. In the presence of SPE B, serum- and purified protein S-mediated phagocytosis of apoptotic cells were significantly inhibited. The binding abilities of protein S to apoptotic cells were decreased by treatment with SPE B. Bacterial culture supernatants from GAS NZ131 strain also caused a reduction of protein S binding to apoptotic cells, but speB mutant strain did not. SPE B directly cleaved protein S in vitro and in vivo, whereas a lower level of cleavage occurred in mice infected with a speB isogenic mutant strain. SPE B-mediated initial cleavage of protein S caused a disruption of phagocytosis, and also resulted in a loss of binding ability of protein S-associated C4b-binding protein to apoptotic cells. Taken together, these results suggest a novel pathogenic role of SPE B that initiates protein S degradation followed by the inhibition of apoptotic cell clearance by macrophages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26026
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - May 16 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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