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Characterization of Ehrlichia ruminantium membrane protein, Erga_cds_01230 and its role in adhesion to the host cell

Pinarello V., Vachiéry N., Albina E., Meyer D.. 2019. In : Abstract book of the Caribbean Science and Innovation Meeting : Coopérer sur les problématiques communes au territoires Caribéens. Le Gosier : UAG, p. 98-98. Caribbean Science and Innovation Meeting (CSIM 2019), 2019-10-19/2019-10-22, Le Gosier (Chine).

Outer membrane proteins participate to pathogens adhesion to host cells and therefore often mediate cell infection. Such is the case for Ehrlichia ruminantium, an obligate intracellular bacterium that is transmitted by ticks and responsible for cowdriosis, a fatal disease of domestic and wild ruminants. Several experimental vaccines were developed, but the great genetic and presumably antigenic diversity of E. ruminantium make difficult to obtain an effective vaccine against all strains present in the field. In order to propose novel strategies to control cowdriosis, the interaction of E. ruminantium with its host cell, particularly the associated adhesion mechanisms must be first deciphered. A membrane protein of E. ruminantium, ERGA_CDS_01230, a probable iron transporter, initially identified by proteomics approaches in our group, was here studied for its role in host cell adhesion. The recombinant protein was expressed with post-translational glycosylation modifications and tagged GFP/Histidine in Leishmania tarentolae. Using cell biology approaches, we show that recProt01230 is able to adhere to bovine host cells and interacts with proteins from the cell lysate and the "membranes/ organelles¿ sub-fraction. Furthermore, recProt01230 does not adhere to heparan sulfate but other membrane polysaccharides seem to play a role in E. ruminantium's adhesion to the host cell. Indeed, preliminary experiments have shown that degrading dermatan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate at the cell surface is associated with a reduction of the number of bacteria in the host cells. Moreover, CDS ERGA_CDS_01230 is over expressed at early stages of infection when bacteria begin to attach to their host. So, our results show the implication of ERGA_CDS_01230 in the adhesion of E. ruminantium to host cells. ERGA_CDS_01230 also induces a humoral response in the vaccinated animals. In conclusion, ERGA_CDS_01230 could be a new promising target for vaccine or therapeutics development.

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