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Free Content Mycobacterium bovis Mce4E protein may play a role in modulating cytokine expression profile in alveolar macrophage

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SETTING: A large body of research has confirmed that mammalian cell entry proteins (Mce) are related to tuberculosis virulence.

OBJECTIVE: To obtain an insight into the effect of Mce family protein on the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium bovis, we expressed recombinant Mce4E protein in Escherichia coli, and investigated its effect on the expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), inducible NO, interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interleukin 12 (IL-12) in alveolar macrophage by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

RESULTS: Our study demonstrated that after stimulation of alveolar macrophages by Mce4E protein for 48 h, the expression of TNF-α was induced, with an enhanced IL-6 mRNA level (P < 0.05) and no changes in IL-12 expression in the macrophages. In addition to the changes in the cytokine expression profile in macrophages, the expression of inducible NO synthase was reduced (P < 0.05). Our MTT [3,(4,5 dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5 diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide] analysis of the macrophage also demonstrated that Mce4E protein could inhibit macrophage activity.

CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that Mce4E proteins can induce host inflammation response to M. bovis and may play an important role in host/pathogen interactions.
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Keywords: Mce4E protein; Mycobacterium bovis; bovine alveolar macrophage; real-time RT-PCR

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: National Animal Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China; College of Life Science Ningxia University, Yinchuan, China 2: Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 3: National Animal Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

Publication date: 01 June 2008

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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