Insights into the antimicrobial mechanism of action of human RNase6: Structural determinants for bacterial cell agglutination and membrane permeation

David Pulido, Javier Arranz-Trullén, Guillem Prats-Ejarque, Diego Velázquez, Marc Torrent, Mohammed Moussaoui, Ester Boix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Human Ribonuclease 6 is a secreted protein belonging to the ribonuclease A (RNaseA) superfamily, a vertebrate specific family suggested to arise with an ancestral host defense role. Tissue distribution analysis revealed its expression in innate cell types, showing abundance in monocytes and neutrophils. Recent evidence of induction of the protein expression by bacterial infection suggested an antipathogen function in vivo. In our laboratory, the antimicrobial properties of the protein have been evaluated against Gram-negative and Gram-positive species and its mechanism of action was characterized using a membrane model. Interestingly, our results indicate that RNase6, as previously reported for RNase3, is able to specifically agglutinate Gram-negative bacteria as a main trait of its antimicrobial activity. Moreover, a side by side comparative analysis with the RN6(1–45) derived peptide highlights that the antimicrobial activity is mostly retained at the protein N-terminus. Further work by site directed mutagenesis and structural analysis has identified two residues involved in the protein antimicrobial action (Trp1 and Ile13) that are essential for the cell agglutination properties. This is the first structure-functional characterization of RNase6 antimicrobial properties, supporting its contribution to the infection focus clearance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number552
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume17
Issue number552
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Cell agglutination
  • Host defence
  • Infectious diseases
  • RNases

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