Adherence, fibronectin binding, and induction of cytoskeleton reorganization in cultured human cells by Mycoplasma penetrans

Jorge A. Girón, Monika Lange, Joel B. Baseman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Mycoplasma penetrans adhered to cultured human cells, forming clusters that localized to specific areas of the host cell surface. Adherence and cluster formation were inhibited by anti-M. penetrans antibodies, suggesting the involvement of specific adhesin-receptor interactions. Ultrastructural studies showed that after 2 h of infection, mycoplasmas attach to and penetrate the host cell surface. M. penetrans bound selectively to immobilized fibronectin, an interaction which was not inhibited by a 70-kDa fragment containing a heparin-gelatin-binding domain of fibronectin, other matrix glycoproteins, or an RGD tripeptide, suggesting the recognition of other specific binding sites on the fibronectin molecule. A ca. 65-kDa fibronectin-binding protein of M. penetrans was eluted following Sepharose- fibronectin affinity chromatography. Confocal, light, and immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated that the interaction of M. penetrans with target cells triggers a signal that causes recruitment of several cytoskeletal components, including tubulin and α-actinin, and aggregation of phosphorylated proteins. Detergent-soluble mycoplasma proteins with apparent molecular masses of 18, 28, 32, 36, 39, and 41 kDa selectively bound to glutaraldehyde-fixed HEp-2 cells. Our findings offer new insights into understanding the interaction of this human mycoplasma with host target cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-208
Number of pages12
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Adherence, fibronectin binding, and induction of cytoskeleton reorganization in cultured human cells by Mycoplasma penetrans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this