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Free Content Mycobacterium tuberculosis conserved hypothetical protein rRv2626c modulates macrophage effector functions

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Summary

Secretory proteins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are the major immunomodulators of the host immune response. Open reading frame (ORF) Rv2626c, encoding a conserved hypothetical protein eliciting a strong humoral immune response in patients with tuberculosis (TB), was shown to be up-regulated upon infection in mice under hypoxic conditions. We now show that recombinant Rv2626c protein (rRv2626c) can bind to the surface of murine macrophages and elicit the type-1 immune response, as manifested by nitric oxide (NO) secretion and expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Significant induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines [interleukin (IL)-12 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α] was evident upon stimulation of murine macrophages, as well as peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from patients with active TB disease, with rRv2626c. Stimulation with rRv2626c also enhanced the expression of costimulatory molecules such as B7-1, B7-2 and CD40 on murine macrophages. We further show that the production of NO and pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to rRv2626c is mediated by the transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)-κB, and this was further confirmed using pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), a specific pharmacological inhibitor of NF-κB. Rv2626c therefore appears to modulate macrophage effector functions by eliciting both innate and adaptive immune responses, suggesting its possible use as a vaccine candidate.
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Keywords: M. tuberculosis; Rv2626c; innate and adaptive responses; vaccine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory of Molecular & Cellular Biology, CDFD, Hyderabad

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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