Acta histochemica et cytochemica

Localization of CORO1A in the macrophages containing Mycobacterium leprae.

PMID 17327897


Mycobacteria have acquired an intracellular lifestyle within the macrophage, which is best exemplified by the enlarged infected histiocytes seen in lepromatous leprosy. To survive within the cell, mycobacteria must escape intracellular bactericidal mechanisms. In a study of Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette-Guérin (M. bovis BCG) infection, it was shown that the host protein, CORO1A, also known as tryptophan aspartate-containing coat protein (TACO), accumulates on the phagosomal membrane, resulting in inhibition of phagosome-lysosome fusion, and thus augmenting intracellular survival. In this study, we show that CORO1A strongly localizes on the membrane of phagosomes that contain Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae), where Toll-like receptor 2 was also visualized by immunostaining. When cultured macrophages were infected with M. leprae, CORO1A recruitment from the plasma membrane to the phagosomal membrane was observed. Moderate to strong CORO1A retention was observed in late lesions that contained foamy histiocytes, in which M. leprae were difficult to detect by acid-fast staining. These results suggest that components accumulating within the phagosome rather than viable bacilli are responsible for the retention of CORO1A, and that there is also a bactericidal mechanism in the macrophage that might counter the effects of CORO1A.