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Volume 49, Number 2, April 2016

Additive effect of recombinant Mycobacterium tuberculosis ESAT-6 protein and ESAT-6/CFP-10 fusion protein in adhesion of macrophages through fibronectin receptors 

Mina Hemmati, Atefeh Seghatoleslam, Mozhgan Rasti, Saeedeh Ebadat, Fakhraddin Naghibalhossaini, Zohreh Mostafavi-Pour


Corresponding author:

Corresponding author. Zohreh Mostafavi-Pour, Department of Biochemistry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Medical School, Zand Street, Shiraz 7134845794, Islamic Republic of Iran. 


Background and purpose: 

Tuberculous granulomas are the sites of interaction between the T cells, macrophages, and extracellular matrix (ECM) to control the infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). A predominant role of RD-1-encoded secretory proteins, early secreted antigenic target-6 (ESAT-6), and culture filtrate protein-10 (CFP-10) in the formation of granulomas has recently been emphasized. However, the precise molecular events that induce the formation of these granulomatous structures are yet to be elucidated. Macrophages use integrins to adhere to fibronectin (FN) as a major component of the ECM. The major goal of this study was to investigate whether recombinant M. tuberculosis antigens can modulate integrin-mediated macrophage adhesion. 



Differentiated THP-1 cell line was stimulated with recombinant ESAT-6, CFP-10, and ESAT-6/CFP-10 proteins and evaluated for alterations in the expression levels of α5β1 and α4β1 by semiquantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The role of these recombinant antigens in the cytoskeleton rearrangement was determined by adhesion assay and immunofluorescent microscopy. 



Our data showed that ESAT-6 and ESAT-6/CFP-10 fusion proteins could induce adhesion of macrophages to FN through α4β1 integrin. An increased expression level of α4β1 integrin in comparison with α5β1 integrin in differentiated THP-1 cells was also observed. Results of immunofluorescence studies showed that recombinant proteins-treated THP-1 cells form well-organized stress fibers and focal contacts containing vinculin compared with untreated THP-1 cells.



Increased expression level of α4β1 in differentiated THP-1 cells could suggest the important role of α4β1 integrin in adhesion and focal contact formation of macrophages exposed to M. tuberculosis antigens. 


Key words:

early secreted antigenic target-6/culture filtrate protein-10 fusion protein, integrin, Mycobacterium tuberculosis