E-Cadherin Orthologues as Substrates for the Serine Protease High Temperature Requirement A (HtrA)
Bernegger, S., Hutterer, E., Zarzecka, U., Schmidt, T. P., Huemer, M., Widlroither, I., ... & Wessler, S.
HtrA, E-cadherin, infection, pathogens
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) expresses the serine protease and chaperone High temperature requirement A (HtrA) that is involved in periplasmic unfolded protein stress response. Additionally, H. pylori-secreted HtrA directly cleaves the human cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin leading to a local disruption of intercellular adhesions during pathogenesis. HtrA-mediated E-cadherin cleavage has been observed in response to a broad range of pathogens, implying that it is a prevalent mechanism in humans. However, less is known whether E-cadherin orthologues serve as substrates for bacterial HtrA. Here, we compared HtrA-mediated cleavage of human E-cadherin with murine, canine, and simian E-cadherin in vitro and during bacterial infection. We found that HtrA targeted mouse and dog E-cadherin equally well, whereas macaque E-cadherin was less fragmented in vitro. We stably re-expressed orthologous E-cadherin (Cdh1) in a CRISPR/Cas9-mediated cdh1 knockout cell line to investigate E-cadherin shedding upon infection using H. pylori wildtype, an isogenic htrA deletion mutant, or complemented mutants as bacterial paradigms. In Western blot analyses and super-resolution microscopy, we demonstrated that H. pylori efficiently cleaved E-cadherin orthologues in an HtrA-dependent manner. These data extend previous knowledge to HtrA-mediated E-cadherin release in mammals, which may shed new light on bacterial infections in non-human organisms.