Endothelial cell proteomic response to Rickettsia conorii infection reveals activation of the Janus Kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-inferferon stimulated gene (ISG)15 pathway and reprogramming plasma membrane integrin/cadherin signaling

Yingxin Zhao, Gustavo Valbuena, David Walker, Michal Gazi, Marylin Hidalgo, Rita DeSousa, Jose Antonio Oteo, Yenny Goez, Allan R. Brasier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rickettsia conorii is the etiologic agent of Mediterranean spotted fever, a re-emerging infectious disease with significant mortality. This Gram-negative, obligately intracellular pathogen is transmitted via tick bites, resulting in disseminated vascular endothelial cell infection with vascular leakage. In the infected human, Rickettsia conorii infects endothelial cells, stimulating expression of cytokines and pro-coagulant factors. However, the integrated proteomic response of human endothelial cells to R. Conorii infection is not known. In this study, we performed quantitative proteomic profiling of primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with established R conorii infection versus those stimulated with endotoxin (LPS) alone. We observed differential expression of 55 proteins in HUVEC whole cell lysates. Of these, we observed induction of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)1, MX dynamin-like GTPase (MX1), and ISG15 ubiquitin-like modifier, indicating activation of the JAK-STAT signaling pathway occurs in R. Conoriiinfected HUVECs. The down-regulated proteins included those involved in the pyrimidine and arginine biosynthetic pathways. A highly specific biotinylated cross-linking enrichment protocol was performed to identify dysregulation of 11 integral plasma membrane proteins that included up-regulated expression of a sodium/potassium transporter and down-regulation of β-actin 1. Analysis of Golgi and soluble Golgi fractions identified up-regulated proteins involved in platelet-endothelial adhesion, phospholipase activity, and IFN activity. Thirty four rickettsial proteins were identified with high confidence in the Golgi, plasma membrane, or secreted protein fractions. The host proteins associated with rickettsial infections indicate activation of interferon-STAT signaling pathways; the disruption of cellular adhesion and alteration of antigen presentation pathways in response to rickettsial infections are distinct from those produced by nonspecific LPS stimulation. These patterns of differentially expressed proteins suggest mechanisms of pathogenesis as well as methods for diagnosis and monitoring Rickettsia infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-304
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Analytical Chemistry

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