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Staphylococcus sciuri exfoliative toxin C is a dimer that modulates macrophage functions

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Staphylococcus sciuri causes multiple infections in humans. Recently, a strain of S. sciuri (HBXX06) carrying exfoliative toxin C (ExhC) was reported to cause fatal exudative epidermal skin pathology in piglets and might be considered as a potential zoonotic agent. However, little is known about the pathogenicity of this bacterium. In this study, we examined the activity of recombinant ExhC-his (rExhC) protein using newborn mice as the model and investigated the effect of rExhC on macrophage functions. Interestingly, we found that both rExhC and S. sciuri ExhC existed as dimers and that rExhC inhibited the phagocytosis of RAW264.7 cell lines but enhanced the production of proinflammatory mediators, such as interleukin-6, interleukin-12, tumor necrosis factor α, and nitric oxide, by murine peritoneal macrophages and RAW264.7 cells. These results suggest that ExhC may play an important role in innate immune response against S. sciuri infection.

Keywords: Staphylococcus; epidermal skin pathology; macrophages; toxin; toxine; épidermite

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, People’s Republic of China.

Publication date: 2011-09-30

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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