Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11737639
Mol. Microbiol. 2001 Nov;42(4):955-65
InlB is a Listeria monocytogenes protein promoting entry in non-phagocytic cells, and has been shown recently to activate the hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR or Met). The N-terminal domain of InlB (LRRs) binds and activates Met, whereas the C-terminal domain of InlB (GW modules) mediates loose attachment of InlB to the listerial surface. As HGF activation of Met is tightly controlled by glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), we tested if GAGs also modulate the Met-InlB interactions. We show that InlB-dependent invasion of non-phagocytic cells decreases up to 10 times in the absence of GAGs, and that soluble heparin releases InlB from the bacterial surface and promotes its clustering. Furthermore, we demonstrate that InlB binds cellular GAGs by its GW modules, and that this interaction is required for efficient InlB-mediated invasion. Therefore, GW modules have an unsuspected dual function: they attach InlB to the bacterial surface and enhance entry triggered by the LRRs domain. Our results thus provide the first evidence for a synergy between two host factor-binding domains of a bacterial invasion protein, and reinforce similarities between InlB and mammalian growth factors.