Perforin-2 (MPEG1) is a pore-forming, antibacterial protein with broad-spectrum activity. Perforin-2 is expressed constitutively in phagocytes and inducibly in parenchymal, tissue-forming cells. In vitro, Perforin-2 prevents the intracellular replication and proliferation of bacterial pathogens in these cells. Perforin-2 knockout mice are unable to control the systemic dissemination of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Salmonella typhimurium and perish shortly after epicutaneous or orogastric infection respectively. In contrast, Perforin-2-sufficient littermates clear the infection. Perforin-2 is a transmembrane protein of cytosolic vesicles -derived from multiple organelles- that translocate to and fuse with bacterium containing vesicles. Subsequently, Perforin-2 polymerizes and forms large clusters of 100 Å pores in the bacterial surface with Perforin-2 cleavage products present in bacteria. Perforin-2 is also required for the bactericidal activity of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and hydrolytic enzymes. Perforin-2 constitutes a novel and apparently essential bactericidal effector molecule of the innate immune system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)