The pulmonary collectin, surfactant protein A (SP-A), is a broad spectrum opsonin with microbicidal membrane permeabilization properties that plays a role in the innate immune response of the lung. However, the factors that govern SP-A's microbial specificity and the mechanisms by which it mediates membrane permeabilization and opsonization are not fully understood. In an effort to identify bacterial factors that confer susceptibility or resistance to SP-A, we used comparative signature-tagged mutagenesis to screen a library of 1,680 Pseudomonas aeruginosa mutants for evidence of differential pulmonary clearance in SP-A-sufficient (SP-A+/+) and SP-A-deficient (SP-A-/-) mice. Two SP-A-sensitive P. aeruginosa mutants harboring transposon insertions in genes required for salicylate biosynthesis (pch) and phosphoenolpyruvate- protein-phosphotransferase (ptsP) were recovered. The mutants were indistinguishable from the parental wild-type PA01 with regard to opsonization by SP-A, but they exhibited increased susceptibility to SP-A-mediated membrane permeabilization. These results suggest that bacterial gene functions that are required to maintain membrane integrity play crucial roles in resistance of P. aeruginosa to the permeabilizing effects of SP-A.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology