Neisseria gonorrhoeae utilizes and enhances the biosynthesis of the asialoglycoprotein receptor expressed on the surface of the hepatic HepG2 cell line

N. Porat, M. A. Apicella, M. S. Blake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the lipooligosaccharide (LOS) structures of Neisseria gonorrhoeae contains a terminal Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc residue which is a good candidate to serve as a ligand for human asialoglycoprotein receptors (ASGP-R). These receptors have been shown to be present on macrophages, sperm cells, and hepatocytes. The human tissue culture cell line used most often to study this receptor, HepG2, was used in our investigations only as a model. We also chose N. gonorrhoeae 1291 for these studies because, unlike many other gonococcal strains, this strain expresses one main species of LOS. The LOS structure expressed by this strain has also been fully characterized. Using well-established assays for the utilization of the ASGP-R, we found that incubation of HepG2 cells with gonococci expressing the terminal Gal(β1- 4)GlcNAc asialo-LOS carbohydrate structure competitively inhibited the ASGP- R from binding to one of its well-known ligands, asialo-α-acid-1- glycoprotein. The inhibition was specific to the ASGP-R, since binding of two other ligands to their specific receptors in the same model cell system was not affected. Immunoblot analysis for the ASGP-R suggested that gonococci seemed to stimulate the HepG2 cells to increase the expression of the major (46-kDa) receptor species. This observation was confirmed both by functional analysis, which showed that the concentration of total receptor molecules, as well as surface receptors, was about 60% higher after incubation with gonococci than in control cells and by Northern (RNA) blot analysis using a cDNA probe of the major human H1 subunit. Poly(A) RNA purified from control and HepG2 cells exposed to gonococci indicated the presence of increased amounts of mRNA coding for the ASGP-R after incubation with gonococci. This result supports the idea that the molecular mechanism controlling the receptor level after gonococcal exposure is under transcriptional regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1498-1506
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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