Streptococcus pyogenes is a major human pathogen that causes a variety of diseases ranging from mild skin and throat infections to fatal septicemia. In severe invasive infections, S. pyogenes encounters and interacts with components of the extracellular matrix (ECM), including small leucine rich-proteoglycans (SLRPs). In this study, we report a novel antimicrobial role played by SLRPs biglycan, decorin, fibromodulin and osteoadherin, specifically in promoting the eradication of S. pyogenes in a human sepsis model of infection. SLRPs can be released from the ECM and de novo synthesized by a number of cell types. We reveal that infection of human monocytes by S. pyogenes induces the expression of decorin. Furthermore, we show that the majority of genetically distinct and clinically relevant S. pyogenes isolates interact with SLRPs resulting in decreased survival in blood killing assays. Biglycan and decorin induce TLR2 and TLR4 signaling cascades resulting in secretion of proinflammatory and chemotactic molecules and recruitment of professional phagocytes. Surprisingly, SLRP-mediated elimination of S. pyogenes occurs independently of TLR activation. Our results indicate that SLRPs act in concert with human serum, enhancing deposition of complement activation fragments and the classical activator C1q on the bacterial surface, facilitating efficient microbial eradication. Addition of the complement C3 inhibitor compstatin significantly reverses SLRP-induced blood killing, confirming active complement as a key mediator in SLRP-mediated bacterial destruction. Taken together our results add to the functional repertoire of SLRPs, expanding to encompass their role in controlling bacterial infection.
- Small leucine-rich proteoglycans
- Streptococcus pyogenes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology