Effect of lipoteichoic acid on the uptake of Streptococcus pyogenes by HEp-2 cells

Shlomo Sela, Mehran J. Marouni, Rachel Perry, Asher Barzilai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) is thought to play a role in the interactions between Streptococcus pyogenes and host cells. We have examined the effect of exogenous LTA on the adherence and entry of S. pyogenes JRS4 strain into HEp-2 epithelial cells. LTA markedly inhibited bacterial entry in a concentration-dependent manner, up to 250 μg ml-1. In contrast, LTA had only a slight inhibitory effect on adherence. LTA also inhibited the entry but not adherence of Salmonella typhimurium strain into HEp-2 cells. Binding experiments showed a dose-dependent binding of LTA to cells up to 10 μg ml-1. Confocal laser microscopy imaging and analysis revealed that LTA was internalized by the epithelial cells and colocalized with F-actin. These results might imply that, following binding, exogenous LTA enters HEp-2 cells and exerts a cytotoxic effect that interferes with bacterial internalization. A possible target for LTA activity might be the actin cytoskeleton, which is known to be essential for bacterial uptake. Copyright (C) 2000 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Group A streptococcus
  • Internalization
  • Lipoteichoic acid
  • Streptococcus pyogenes


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