Plasminogen activator Pla of Yersinia pestis utilizes murine DEC-205 (CD205) as a receptor to promote dissemination

Shu Sheng Zhang, Gyu Park Chae, Pei Zhang, Sara Schesser Bartra, Gregory V. Plano, John D. Klena, Mikael Skurnik, B. Joseph Hinnebusch, Tie Chen

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57 Scopus citations


Yersinia pestis, a Gram-negative bacterium that causes bubonic and pneumonic plague, is able to rapidly disseminate to other parts of its mammalian hosts. Y. pestis expresses plasminogen activator (PLA) on its surface, which has been suggested to play a role in bacterial dissemination. It has been speculated that Y. pestis hijacks antigen-presenting cells, such as macrophages (MΦs) and dendritic cells, to be delivered to lymph nodes to initiate dissemination and infection. Both alveolar MΦs and pulmonary dendritic cells express a C-type lectin receptor, DEC-205 (CD205), which mediates antigen uptake and presentation. However, no ligand has been identified for DEC-205. In this study, we show that the invasion of alveolar MΦs by Y. pestis depends both in vitro and in vivo on the expression of PLA. DEC-205-expressing MΦs and transfectants, but not their negative counterparts, phagocytosed PLA-expressing Y. pestis and Escherichia coli K12 more efficiently than PLA-negative controls. The interactions between PLA-expressing bacteria and DEC-205-expressing transfectants or alveolar MΦs could be inhibited by an anti-DEC-205 antibody. Importantly, the blockage of the PLA-DEC-205 interaction reduced the dissemination of Y. pestis in mice. In conclusion, murine DEC-205 is a receptor for PLA of Y. pestis, and this host-pathogen interaction appears to play a key role in promoting bacterial dissemination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31511-31521
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 14 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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