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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases