PPE39 of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain Beijing/K induces Th1-cell polarization through dendritic cell maturation

Hong Hee Choi, Kee Woong Kwon, Seung Jung Han, Soon Myung Kang, Eunsol Choi, Ahreum Kim, Sang Nae Cho, Sung Jae Shin

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In a previous study, we have identified MTBK_24820, the complete protein form of PPE39 in the hypervirulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) strain Beijing/K by using comparative genomic analysis. PPE39 exhibited vaccine potential against Mtb challenge in a murine model. Thus, in this present study, we characterize PPE39-induced immunological features by investigating the interaction of PPE39 with dendritic cells (DCs). PPE39-treated DCs display reduced dextran uptake and enhanced MHC-I, MHC-II, CD80 and CD86 expression, indicating that this PPE protein induces phenotypic DC maturation. In addition, PPE39-treated DCs produce TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-12p70 to a similar and/or greater extent than lipopolysaccharide-treated DCs in a dose-dependent manner. The activating effect of PPE39 on DCs was mediated by TLR4 through downstream MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways. Moreover, PPE39-treated DCs promoted naïve CD4+ T-cell proliferation accompanied by remarkable increases of IFN-γ and IL-2 secretion levels, and an increase in the Th1-related transcription factor T-bet but not in Th2-associated expression of GATA-3, suggesting that PPE39 induces Th1-type T-cell responses through DC activation. Collectively, the results indicate that the complete form of PPE39 is a so-far-unknown TLR4 agonist that induces Th1-cell biased immune responses by interacting with DCs.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 5


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology

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