Anthrax lethal toxin impairs CD1d-mediated antigen presentation by targeting the extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway

Masood A. Khan, Richard M. Gallo, Randy R. Brutkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Lethal toxin (LT) is a critical virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis and an important means by which this bacterium evades the host's immune system. In this study, we demonstrate that CD1d-expressing cells treated with LT have reduced CD1d-mediated antigen presentation. We earlier showed an important role for the mitogen-activated protein kinase extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in the regulation of CD1d-mediated antigen presentation, and we report here that LT impairs antigen presentation by CD1d in an ERK1/2-dependent manner. Similarly, LT and the ERK1/2 pathway-specific inhibitor U0126 caused a decrease in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-mediated antigen presentation. Confocal microscopy analyses revealed altered intracellular distribution of CD1d and LAMP-1 in LT-treated cells, similar to the case for ERK1/2-inhibited cells. These results suggest that Bacillus anthracis has the ability to evade the host's innate immune system by reducing CD1d-mediated antigen presentation through targeting the ERK1/2 pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1859-1863
Number of pages5
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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