Journal of bacteriology

Construction of recombinant hemagglutinin derived from the gingipain-encoding gene of Porphyromonas gingivalis, identification of its target protein on erythrocytes, and inhibition of hemagglutination by an interdomain regional peptide.

PMID 17384191


Porphyromonas gingivalis, an anaerobic gram-negative bacterium associated with chronic periodontitis, can agglutinate human erythrocytes. In general, hemagglutination can be considered the ability to adhere to host cells; however, P. gingivalis-mediated hemagglutination has special significance because heme markedly accelerates growth of this bacterium. Although a number of studies have indicated that a major hemagglutinin of P. gingivalis is intragenically encoded by rgpA, kgp, and hagA, direct evidence has not been obtained. We demonstrated in this study that recombinant HGP44(720-1081), a fully processed HGP44 domain protein, had hemagglutinating activity but that an unprocessed form, HGP44(720-1138), did not. A peptide corresponding to residues 1083 to 1102, which was included in HGP44(720-1138) but not in HGP44(720-1081), could bind HGP44(720-1081) in a dose-dependent manner and effectively inhibited HGP44(720-1081)-mediated hemagglutination, indicating that the interdomain regional amino acid sequence may function as an intramolecular suppressor of hemagglutinating activity. Analyses by solid-phase binding and chemical cross-linking suggested that HGP44 interacted with glycophorin A on the erythrocyte membrane. Glycophorin A and, more effectively, asialoglycophorin, which were added exogenously, inhibited HGP44(720-1081)-mediated hemagglutination. Treatment of erythrocytes with RgpB proteinase resulted in degradation of glycophorin A on the membrane and a decrease in HGP44(720-1081)-mediated hemagglutination. Surface plasmon resonance detection analysis revealed that HGP44(720-1081) could bind to asialoglycophorin with a dissociation constant of 3.0 x 10(-7) M. These results indicate that the target of HGP44 on the erythrocyte membrane appears to be glycophorin A.