Human Plasminogen Exacerbates Clostridioides difficile Enteric Disease and Alters the Spore Surface
Awad, M. M., Hutton, M. L., Quek, A. J., Klare, W. P., Mileto, S. J., Mackin, K., ... & Lyras, D.
Pathogenic Bacteria, Microbe, Fibrinolytic System, Liver Enzyme
The protease plasmin is an important wound healing factor, but it is not clear how it affects gastrointestinal infection–mediated damage, such as that resulting from Clostridioides difficile. We investigated the role of plasmin in C difficile–associated disease. This bacterium produces a spore form that is required for infection, so we also investigated the effects of plasmin on spores. We found that hPLG is recruited to the damaged gut, exacerbating C difficile disease in mice. hPLG binds to C difficile spores, and, upon activation to plasmin, remodels the spore surface, facilitating rapid spore germination. Inhibitors of plasminogen activation might be developed for treatment of C difficile or other infection-mediated gastrointestinal diseases.