Listeria adhesion protein (Lap), an alcohol acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (lmo1634) promotes bacterial paracellular translocation through epithelial cell junctions during gastrointestinal phase of infection. Secreted Lap is critical for pathogenesis and is mediated by SecA2 system; however, if strain dependent variation in Lap secretion would affect L. monocytogenes paracellular translocation through epithelial barrier is unknown.


Amounts of Lap secretion were examined in clinical isolates of L. monocytogenes by cell fractionation analysis using Western blot. Quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to verify protein expression profiles. Adhesion and invasion of isolates were analyzed by in vitro Caco-2 cell culture model and paracellular translocation was determined using a trans-well model pre-seeded with Caco-2 cells.


Western blot revealed that expression of Lap in whole cell preparation of isolates was very similar; however, cell fractionation analysis indicated variable Lap secretion among isolates. The strains showing high Lap secretion in supernatant exhibited significantly higher adhesion (3.4 - 4.8% vs 1.5 - 2.3%, P < 0.05), invasion and paracellular translocation in Caco-2 cells than the low secreting isolates. In cell wall fraction, Lap level was mostly uniform for both groups, while Lap accumulated in cytosol in low secreting strains indicating that Lap distribution in cellular compartments is a strain-dependent phenomenon, which may be controlled by the protein transport system, SecA2. ΔsecA2 mutants showed significantly reduced paracellular translocation through epithelial barrier (0.48 ± 0.01 vs 0.24 ± 0.02, P < 0.05). qRT-PCR did not show any discernible variation in laptranscript levels in either high or low secreting isolates.


This study revealed that secreted Lap is an important determinant in Lap-mediated L. monocytogenes translocation through paracellular route and may serve as an indicator for pathogenic potential of an isolate.


This is the publisher pdf of Hyochin Kim, Arun K Bhunia. Secreted Listeria Adhesion Protein (Lap) Influences Lap-Mediated Listeria monocytogenes Paracellular Translocation Through Epithelial Barrier. Gut Pathogens 2013, 5:16 (24 June 2013) and is available at: 10.1186/1757-4749-5-16.


Listeria adhesion protein; Lap; Listeria monocytogenes; Secretion; Paracellular translocation; Pathogenesis

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