Cutting edge: Brucella abortus exploits a cellular prion protein on intestinal m cells as an invasive receptor

Gaku Nakato, Koji Hase, Michio Suzuki, Masanobu Kimura, Manabu Ato, Misaho Hanazato, Minoru Tobiume, Motohiro Horiuchi, Ryuichiro Atarashi, Noriyuki Nishida, Masahisa Watarai, Koichi Imaoka, Hiroshi Ohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Brucella abortus is a Gram-negative bacterium causing brucellosis. Although B. abortus is known to infect via the oral route, the entry site in the gastrointestinal tract has been unclear. We found that B. abortus was selectively internalized by microfold cells (M cells), a subset of epithelial cells specialized for mucosal Ag uptake. During this process, colocalization of cellular prion protein (PrP C) and B. abortus was evident on the apical surface as well as in subapical vacuolar structures in M cells. Internalization of B. abortus by M cells of PrP C- deficient (Prnp -/-) mice was greatly reduced compared with that in wild-type mice. Furthermore, an oral infection study revealed that translocation of B. abortus into the Peyer's patch was significantly lower in Prnp -/- than in wild-type mice. These observations suggest that orally infected B. abortus invades the host through M cells by using PrP C on the apical surface of M cells as an uptake receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1540-1544
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume189
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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