Identification of proinflammatory flagellin protein in supernatants of Vibrio cholerae O1 by proteomics analysis

Juan Xicohtencatl-Cortés, Sean Lyons, Adriana P. Chaparro, Diana R. Hernández, Zeus Saldaña, Maria A. Ledesma, María A. Rendón, Andrew T. Gewirtz, Karl E. Klose, Jorge A. Girón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The genome of Vibrio cholerae contains five flagellin genes that encode proteins (FlaA-E) of 39-41 kDa with 61-82% identity among them. Although the existing live oral attenuated vaccine strains against cholera are protective in humans, there is an intrinsic residual cytotoxic and inflammatory component associated with these candidate vaccine strains. Bacterial flagellins are known to be potent inducers of proinflammatory molecules via activation of Toll-like receptor 5. Here we found that purified flagella from wild type V. cholerae 395 induced significant release of interleukin (IL)-8 from cultured HT-29 human colonic epithelial cells. Furthermore we found that filtered supernatants of KKV90, a ΔflaA isogenic strain unable to produce flagella, were still able to activate production of IL-8 albeit to significantly lower levels than the wild type, suggesting that other activators of proinflammatory molecules were still present in these supernatants. A comparative prorteomics analysis of secreted proteins of V. cholerve 395 and KKV90 identified additional proteins with potential to induce IL-8 release in HT-29 cells. Secreted proteins in the range of 30-45 kDa identified by two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry revealed the presence of two additional flagellins, FlaC and FlaD, that appeared to be secreted 3-and 6-fold more, respectively, in the mutant compared with the wild type. Double isogenic mutants flaAC and flaAD were unable to trigger IL-8 release from HT-29 cells. In sum, we have shown that purified flagella and secreted flagellin proteins (FIaC; and FlaD) are inducers of IL-8 release from epithelial cells via Toll-like receptor 5. This observation may explain, in part, the observed reactogenicity of cholera vaccine strains in human.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2374-2383
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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