Recombinant Lipoprotein Rv1016c Derived from Mycobacterium tuberculosis Is a TLR-2 Ligand that Induces Macrophages Apoptosis and Inhibits MHC II Antigen Processing

Haibo Su, Shenglin Zhu, Lin Zhu, Wei Huang, Honghai Wang, Zhi Zhang, Ying Xu
Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 2016, 6: 147
TLR2-dependent cellular signaling in Mycobacterium tuberculosis -infected macrophages causes apoptosis and inhibits class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC-II) molecules antigen processing, leading to evasion of surveillance. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) lipoproteins are an important class of Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligand, and identified as specific components that mediate these effects. In this study, we identified and characterized MTB lipoprotein Rv1016c (lpqT) as a cell wall associated-protein that was exposed on the cell surface and enhanced the survival of recombinants M. smegmatis_Rv1016c under stress conditions. We found that Rv1016c lipoprotein was a novel TLR2 ligand and able to induce macrophage apoptosis in a both dose- and time-dependent manner. Additionally, apoptosis induced by Rv1016c was reserved in THP-1 cells blocked with anti-TLR-2 Abs or in TLR2-/- mouse macrophages, indicating that Rv1016c-induced apoptosis is dependent on TLR2. Moreover, we demonstrated that Rv1016c lipoprotein inhibited IFN-γ-induced MHC-II expression and processing of soluble antigens in a TLR2 dependent manner. Class II transactivator (CIITA) regulates MHC II expression. In this context, Rv1016c lipoprotein diminished IFN-γ-induced expression of CIITA IV through TLR2 and MAPK Signaling. TLR2-dependent apoptosis and inhibition of MHC-II Ag processing induced by Rv1016c during mycobacteria infection may promote the release of residual bacilli from apoptotic cells and decrease recognition by CD4+ T cells. These mechanisms may allow intracellular MTB to evade immune surveillance and maintain chronic infection.

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