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PclA, a pneumococcal collagen-like protein with selected strain distribution, contributes to adherence and invasion of host cells

Paterson, Gavin K. and Nieminen, Leena and Jefferies, Johanna M.C. and Mitchell, Tim J. (2008) PclA, a pneumococcal collagen-like protein with selected strain distribution, contributes to adherence and invasion of host cells. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 285 (2). pp. 170-176. ISSN 0378-1097

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Analysis of Streptococcus pneumoniae sequenced genomes revealed a region present only in selected strains consisting of two ORFs: a putative cell wall anchored protein and a putative transcriptional regulator. The cell wall anchored protein contains large regions of collagen-like repeats, the number of which varies between strains. We have therefore named this protein PclA for pneumococcal collagen-like protein A. The second gene, spr1404, encodes a putative transcriptional regulator. We examined the strain distribution of these two genes among a collection of clinical isolates from invasive pneumococcal disease and found them to be present in 39% of the strains examined. Strains were either positive for both genes or lacked both, with the two genes always present together in the same location of the genome. RT-PCR analysis revealed that pclA is transcribed in vitro, even in the absence of spr1404. Single deletion mutants lacking either gene were not attenuated in a mouse model of invasive pneumonia. However, the pclA mutant was defective in adherence and invasion of host cells in vitro.