Staphylococcus aureus produces membrane-derived vesicles that induce host cell death

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Gram-negative bacteria produce outer membrane vesicles that play a role in the delivery of virulence factors to host cells. However, little is known about the membrane-derived vesicles (MVs) produced by Gram-positive bacteria. The present study examined the production of MVs from Staphylococcus aureus and investigated the delivery of MVs to host cells and subsequent cytotoxicity. Four S. aureus strains tested, two type strains and two clinical isolates, produced spherical nanovesicles during in vitro culture. MVs were also produced during in vivo infection of a clinical S. aureus isolate in a mouse pneumonia model. Proteomic analysis showed that 143 different proteins were identified in the S. aureus-derived MVs. S. aureus MVs were interacted with the plasma membrane of host cells via a cholesterol-rich membrane microdomain and then delivered their component protein A to host cells within 30 min. Intact S. aureus MVs induced apoptosis of HEp-2 cells in a dose-dependent manner, whereas lysed MVs neither delivered their component into the cytosol of host cells nor induced cytotoxicity. In conclusion, this study is the first report that S. aureus MVs are an important vehicle for delivery of bacterial effector molecules to host cells. © 2011 Gurung et al.




Gurung, M., Moon, D. C., Choi, C. W., Lee, J. H., Bae, Y. C., Kim, J., … Lee, J. C. (2011). Staphylococcus aureus produces membrane-derived vesicles that induce host cell death. PLoS ONE, 6(11).

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