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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 313-318

Effect of mycobacterial secretory proteins on the cellular integrity and cytokine profile of type II alveolar epithelial cells

Department of Biochemistry, TB Immunology and Cell Biology Lab, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Indu Verma
Department of Biochemistry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-2113.102796

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Background: Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb). In lungs, alveolar macrophages and type II alveolar epithelial cells serve as a replicative niche for this pathogen. Secretory proteins released by actively replicating tubercle bacilli are known to interact with host cells at the initial stages of infection. To understand the role of these cells in TB pathogenesis, it is important to identify the mycobacterial components involved in interaction with alveolar epithelial cells. Materials and Methods: We fractionated the whole secretory proteome of M. tb H 37 Rv into 10 narrow molecular mass fractions (A1-A10; <20 kDa to >90 kDa) that were studied for their binding potential with A549; type II alveolar epithelial cell line. We also studied the consequences of this interaction in terms of change in epithelial cell viability by MTT assay and cytokine release by ELISA. Results: Our results show that several mycobacterial proteins bind and confer cytolysis in epithelial cells. Amongst all the fractions, proteins ranging from 35-45 kDa (A5) exhibited highest binding to A549 cells with a consequence of cytolysis of these cells. This fraction (A5) also led to release of various cytokines important in anti-mycobacterial immunity. Conclusion: Fraction A5 (35-45 kDa) of mycobacterial secretory proteome play an important role in mediating M. tb interaction with type II alveolar epithelial cells with the consequences detrimental for the TB pathogenesis. Further studies are being carried out to identify the candidate proteins from this region.

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