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1.  Oxidative and nonoxidative killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans by human neutrophils. 
Infection and Immunity  1986;53(1):154-160.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is a facultative gram-negative microorganism which has been implicated as an etiologic agent in localized juvenile periodontitis and in subacute bacterial endocarditis and abscesses. Although resistant to serum bactericidal action and to oxidant injury mediated by superoxide anion (O2-) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), this organism is sensitive to killing by the myeloperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-chloride system (K.T. Miyasaki, M.E. Wilson, and R.J. Genco, Infect. Immun. 53:161-165, 1986). In this study, we examined the sensitivity of A. actinomycetemcomitans to killing by intact neutrophils under aerobic conditions, under anaerobic conditions, and under aerobic conditions in the presence of the heme-protein inhibitor sodium cyanide. Intact neutrophils killed opsonized A. actinomycetemcomitans under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, and the kinetics of these reactions indicated that both oxidative and nonoxidative mechanisms were operative. Oxidative mechanisms contributed significantly, and most of the killing attributable to oxidative mechanisms was inhibited by sodium cyanide, which suggested that the myeloperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-chloride system participated in the oxidative process. We conclude that human neutrophils are capable of killing A. actinomycetemcomitans by both oxygen-dependent and oxygen-independent pathways, and that most oxygen-dependent killing requires myeloperoxidase activity.
PMCID: PMC260090  PMID: 3013778
2.  Role of high-avidity binding of human neutrophil myeloperoxidase in the killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. 
Infection and Immunity  1987;55(5):1029-1036.
The binding of the neutrophil enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO) to microbial surfaces is believed to be the first step in its microbicidal activity. The MPO-H2O2-Cl- system is responsible for most oxidative killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans by human neutrophils. There appear to be three forms of MPO (MPO I, II, and III), all of which can kill this organism in the presence of H2O2 and chloride. In this study, we characterized the binding of native human neutrophil MPO to A. actinomycetemcomitans by an elution procedure dependent on the cationic detergent cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. Binding of native MPO was rapid and reached apparent equilibrium within 1 min. A proportion of binding under equilibrium conditions was saturable and highly avid, with a capacity of 4,500 sites per cell and a dissociation constant of 7.9 X 10(-10) M. At equal protein concentrations, more MPO III bound than MPO II, and more MPO II bound than MPO I. The high-avidity interaction was inhibitable with yeast mannan and with the serotype-defining mannan of A. actinomycetemcomitans. Binding was also partially reversible with yeast mannan. MPO bound to the high-avidity sites did not oxidize guaiacol but oxidized chloride, as detected by the chlorination of taurine. MPO bound to the high-avidity sites was incapable of killing A. actinomycetemcomitans alone in the presence of H2O2 and Cl-, but potentiated killing when sufficient additional MPO was provided. The killing of A. actinomycetemcomitans by the MPO-H2O2-Cl- system was inhibited by yeast mannan and a serotype-defining mannan of A. actinomycetemcomitans. We conclude that high-avidity binding of MPO to the surface of A. actinomycetemcomitans is a mannan-specific interaction and that MPO bound to the high-avidity sites is essential but not alone sufficient to kill A. actinomycetemcomitans.
PMCID: PMC260463  PMID: 3032796
3.  Killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans by human lactoferrin. 
Infection and Immunity  1988;56(10):2552-2557.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is a fastidious, facultative gram-negative rod associated with endocarditis, certain forms of periodontal disease, and other focal infections. Human neutrophils have demonstrated bactericidal activity against A. actinomycetemcomitans, and much of the oxygen-dependent killing has been attributed to the myeloperoxidase-H2O2-halide system. However, the contribution of other neutrophil components to killing activity is obscure. Lactoferrin, an iron-binding glycoprotein, is a major constituent of neutrophil-specific granules and is also found in mucosal secretions. In this report, we show that human lactoferrin is bactericidal for A. actinomycetemcomitans. Killing activity required an unsaturated (iron- and anion-free) molecule that produced a 2-log decrease in viability within 120 min at 37 degrees C at a concentration of 1.9 microM. Besides exhibiting concentration dependence, killing kinetics were affected by minor variations in temperature and pH. Magnesium, a divalent cation thought to stabilize lipopolysaccharide interactions on the surface of gram-negative organisms, enhanced lactoferrin killing of A. actinomycetemcomitans, while other cations, such as potassium and calcium, had no effect. Our data suggest that lactoferrin contributes to killing of A. actinomycetemcomitans by human neutrophils and that it may also play a significant role in innate secretory defense against this potential periodontopathogen.
PMCID: PMC259610  PMID: 3417349
4.  Subinhibitory concentrations of cefpodoxime alter membrane protein expression of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and enhance its susceptibility to killing by neutrophils. 
The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of the antibiotic cefpodoxime on the gram-negative periodontopathic microorganism Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and its interaction with elements of the host immune system. Growth of A. actinomycetemcomitans in subinhibitory concentrations of cefpodoxime induced morphological changes in the bacteria, causing the organisms to grow as filaments rather than coccobacilli. Growth in cefpodoxime did not render these bacteria susceptible to killing by serum, nor did it abrogate the requirement for serum opsonins to support the bactericidal activity of neutrophils. Cefpodoxime enhanced the susceptibility of A. actinomycetemcomitans to the bactericidal activity of neutrophils. In the presence of suitable opsonins, neutrophils were able to kill four times as many cefpodoxime-induced A. actinomycetemcomitans filaments as untreated A. actinomycetemcomitans CFU. This effect was due to antibiotic actions on the bacterium and not on the neutrophil. At inhibitory concentrations, the bactericidal activities of cefpodoxime and neutrophils were additive, and cefpodoxime did not interfere with the normal functioning of the neutrophils. Concomitant with these morphological and functional changes, the expression of two outer membrane proteins (66 and 29 kDa) and one inner membrane protein (57 kDa) was decreased in A. actinomycetemcomitans grown in cefpodoxime. The concentration range over which cefpodoxime is effective against A. actinomycetemcomitans in vivo may be extended by the ability of subinhibitory concentrations to enhance the susceptibility of this organism to host immune defenses.
PMCID: PMC162551  PMID: 7726506
5.  Bactericidal activity of a superoxide anion-generating system. A model for the polymorphonuclear leukocyte 
The acetaldehyde-xanthine oxidase system in the presence and absence of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and chloride has been employed as a model of the oxygen-dependent antimicrobial systems of the PMN. The unsupplemented xanthine oxidase system was bactericidal at relatively high acetaldehyde concentrations. The bactericidal activity was inhibited by superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, the hydroxyl radical (OH.) scavengers, mannitol and benzoate, the singlet oxygen (1O2) quenchers, azide, histidine, and 1,4-diazabicyclo[2,2,2]octane (DABCO) and by the purines, xanthine, hypoxanthine, and uric acid. The latter effect may account for the relatively weak bactericidal activity of the xanthine oxidase system when purines are employed as substrate. A white, carotenoid-negative mutant strain of Sarcina lutea was more susceptible to the acetaldehyde-xanthine oxidase system than was the yellow, carotenoid-positive parent strain. Carotenoid pigments are potent 1O2 quenchers. The xanthine oxidase system catalyzes the conversion of 2,5- diphenylfuran to cis-dibenzoylethylene, a reaction which can occur by a 1O2 mechanism. This conversion is inhibited by SOD, catalase, azide, histidine, DABCO, xanthine, hypoxanthine, and uric acid but is only slightly inhibited by mannitol and benzoate. The addition of MPO and chloride to the acetaldehyde-xanthine oxidase system greatly increases bactericidal activity; the minimal effective acetaldehyde concentration is decreased 100-fold and the rate and extent of bacterial killing is increased. The bactericidal activity of the MPO-supplemented system is inhibited by catalase, benzoate, azide, DABCO, and histidine but not by SOD or mannitol. Thus, the acetaldehyde-xanthine oxidase system which like phagocytosing PMNs generates superoxide (O.2-) and hydrogen peroxide, is bactericidal both in the presence and absence of MPO and chloride. The MPO-supplemented system is considerably more potent; however, when MPO is absent, bactericidal activity is observed which may be mediated by the interaction of H2O2 and O.2- to form OH. and 1O2.
PMCID: PMC2184741  PMID: 216766
6.  Role of myeloperoxidase in the killing of Naegleria fowleri by lymphokine-altered human neutrophils. 
Infection and Immunity  1987;55(5):1047-1050.
Previously we have shown that human neutrophils treated with conditioned medium from phytohemagglutinin-stimulated mononuclear leukocytes (sCM) in the presence of antisera have amoebicidal properties for Naegleria fowleri, a pathogenic free-living amoeba. The data now presented show that neutrophils which lack myeloperoxidase (MPO) but have a normal oxygen-dependent respiratory burst could not be altered by sCM to express the amoebicidal activity. Catalase inhibited this amoebicidal activity of sCM-treated neutrophils. Various components and products of the neutrophils were examined for effects on naegleriae. A granule extract was found to have no effect at concentrations up to 100-fold that which killed Salmonella minnesota R595. Hydrogen peroxide appeared to have little effect even at 100 microM. However, in the presence of MPO, H2O2 was amoebicidal at 2.5 microM. The generation of amoebicidal activity required the presence of chloride ions. Azide inhibited the effects of the MPO-H2O2-Cl- system. Arginine, a scavenger of hypochlorite, significantly depressed the ability of sCM-treated neutrophils to kill amoebae and also prevented the amoebicidal properties of the MPO-H2O2-halide system. These results suggest that the MPO-H2O2-halide system is important in the killing of naegleriae by sCM-treated neutrophils and that hypochlorite may be the amoebicidal agent.
PMCID: PMC260466  PMID: 3032797
7.  Damage to Aspergillus fumigatus and Rhizopus oryzae Hyphae by Oxidative and Nonoxidative Microbicidal Products of Human Neutrophils In Vitro 
Infection and Immunity  1982;38(2):487-495.
Our previous studies established that human neutrophils could damage and probably kill hyphae of Aspergillus fumigatus and Rhizopus oryzae in vitro, primarily by oxygen-dependent mechanisms active at the cell surface. These studies were extended, again quantitating hyphal damage by reduction in uptake of 14C-labeled uracil or glutamine. Neither A. fumigatus nor R. oryzae hyphae were damaged by neutrophils from patients with chronic granulomatous disease, confirming the importance of oxidative mechanisms in damage to hyphae. In contrast, neutrophils from one patient with hereditary myeloperoxidase deficiency damaged R. oryzae but not A. fumigatus hyphae. Cell-free, in vitro systems were then used to help determine the relative importance of several potentially fungicidal products of neutrophils. Both A. fumigatus and R. oryzae hyphae were damaged by the myeloperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-halide system either with reagent hydrogen peroxide or enzymatic systems for generating hydrogen peroxide (glucose oxidase with glucose, or xanthine oxidase with either hypoxanthine or acetaldehyde). Iodide with or without chloride supported the reaction, but damage was less with chloride alone as the halide cofactor. Hydrogen peroxide alone damaged hyphae only in concentrations ≥1 mM, but 0.01 mM hypochlorous acid, a potential product of the myeloperoxidase system, significantly damaged R. oryzae hyphae (a 1 mM concentration was required for significant damage to A. fumigatus hyphae). Damage to hyphae by the myeloperoxidase system was inhibited by azide, cyanide, catalase, histidine, and tryptophan, but not by superoxide dismutase, dimethyl sulfoxide, or mannitol. Photoactivation of the dye rose bengal resulted in hyphal damage which was inhibited by histidine, tryptophan, and 1,4-diazobicyclo(2,2,2)octane. Lysates of neutrophils or separated neutrophil granules did not affect A. fumigatus hyphae, but did damage R. oryzae hyphae. Similarly, three preparations of cationic proteins purified from human neutrophil granules were more active in damaging R. oryzae than A. fumigatus hyphae. This damage, as with the separated granules and whole cell lysates, was inhibited by the polyanion heparin. Damage to R. oryzae hyphae by neutrophil cationic proteins was enhanced by activity of the complete myeloperoxidase system or by hydrogen peroxide alone in subinhibitory concentrations. These data support the importance of oxidative products in general and the myeloperoxidase system in particular in damage to hyphae by neutrophils. Cationic proteins may also contribute significantly to neutrophil-mediated damage to R. oryzae hyphae.
PMCID: PMC347765  PMID: 6292103
8.  Resistance of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and differential susceptibility of oral Haemophilus species to the bactericidal effects of hydrogen peroxide. 
Infection and Immunity  1984;46(3):644-648.
We compared the sensitivities of oral and nonoral isolates of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Haemophilus segnis, H. aphrophilus, and H. paraphrophilus to the bactericidal action of reagent hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Susceptibility to a range of H2O2 concentrations (10(-6) to 10(-3) M) was assessed by incubating bacterial suspensions for 1 h at 37 degrees C in the presence of H2O2 and plating on chocolate agar to determine the concentration of H2O2 that would produce a 50% reduction in CFU (50% lethal dose). As a group, A. actinomycetemcomitans was more resistant to H2O2 than the oral haemophili, and H. aphrophilus was much more sensitive than all other organisms tested. The range of 50% lethal dose values for A. actinomycetemcomitans was between 8.5 X 10(-5) and 10(-3) M H2O2 or above. In contrast, H. aphrophilus exhibited 50% lethal dose values from below 1 X 10(-6) to 3.4 X 10(-4) M H2O2. The resistance of A. actinomycetemcomitans to H2O2 may be sufficient to protect these organisms from direct H2O2-mediated killing by host phagocytes.
PMCID: PMC261590  PMID: 6500706
9.  Differential killing of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. by human neutrophil granule components. 
Infection and Immunity  1991;59(10):3760-3767.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether granule fractions of human neutrophils differentially kill Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. Granule extracts were subjected to gel filtration, and seven fractions (designated A through G) were obtained. Under aerobic conditions at pH 7.0, representative strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans were killed by fraction D and variably by fraction B. In contrast, the Capnocytophaga spp. were killed by fractions C, D, F, and G. Fractions A (containing lactoferrin and myeloperoxidase) and E (containing lysozyme) exerted little bactericidal activity under these conditions. Anaerobiosis had little effect on the bactericidal activity of fractions D and F but inhibited that of fractions B and C. Electrophoresis, zymography, determination of amino acid composition, and N-terminal sequence analysis revealed that fraction C contained elastase, proteinase 3, and azurocidin. Fraction D contained lysozyme, elastase, and cathepsin G. Subfractions of C and D containing elastase (subfraction C4), a mixture of elastase and azurocidin (subfraction C5), and cathepsin G (subfraction D9) were found to be bactericidal. The bactericidal effects of fraction D and subfraction D9 against A. actinomycetemcomitans was not inhibited by heat inactivation, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, or N-benzyloxycarbonylglycylleucylphenylalanylchloromethyl ketone. We conclude that (i) A. actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. were sensitive to the bactericidal effects of different neutrophil granule components, (ii) both were sensitive to the bactericidal effects of neutral serine proteases, and (iii) the killing of A. actinomycetemcomitans by cathepsin G-containing fractions was independent of oxygen and neutral serine protease activity.
PMCID: PMC258948  PMID: 1894375
10.  Severe Impairment in Early Host Defense against Candida albicans in Mice Deficient in Myeloperoxidase 
Infection and Immunity  1999;67(4):1828-1836.
Myeloperoxidase (MPO) catalyzes the reaction of hydrogen peroxide with chloride ion to produce hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which is used for microbial killing by phagocytic cells. Despite the important role of MPO in host defense, however, MPO deficiency is relatively common in humans, and most of these individuals are in good health. To define the in vivo role of MPO, we have generated by gene targeting mice having no MPO activity in their neutrophils and monocytes. The mice without MPO developed normally, were fertile, and showed normal clearance of intraperitoneal Staphylococcus aureus. However, they showed increased susceptibility to pneumonia and death following intratracheal infection with Candida albicans. Furthermore, the lack of MPO significantly enhanced the dissemination of intraperitoneally injected C. albicans into various organs during the first 7 days. Thus, MPO is important for early host defense against fungal infection, and the inability to generate HOCl cannot be compensated for by other oxygen-dependent systems in vivo in mice. The mutant mice serve as a model for studying pulmonary and systemic candidiasis.
PMCID: PMC96534  PMID: 10085024
11.  In vitro sensitivity of oral, gram-negative, facultative bacteria to the bactericidal activity of human neutrophil defensins. 
Infection and Immunity  1990;58(12):3934-3940.
Neutrophils play a major role in defending the periodontium against infection by oral, gram-negative, facultative bacteria, such as Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Eikenella corrodens, and Capnocytophaga spp. We examined the sensitivity of these bacteria to a mixture of low-molecular-weight peptides and highly purified individual defensin peptides (HNP-1, HNP-2, and HNP-3) isolated from human neutrophils. Whereas the Capnocytophaga spp. strains were killed significantly by the mixed human neutrophil peptides, the A. actinomycetemcomitans and E. corrodens strains were resistant. Killing was attributable to the defensins. The bactericidal activities of purified defensins HNP-1 and HNP-2 were equal, and both of these activities were greater than HNP-3 activity against strains of Capnocytophaga sputigena and Capnocytophaga gingivalis. The strain of Capnocytophaga ochracea was more sensitive to defensin-mediated bactericidal activity than either C. sputigena or C. gingivalis was. The three human defensins were equipotent in killing C. ochracea. C. ochracea was killed under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and over a broad pH range. Killing was most effective under hypotonic conditions but also occurred at physiologic salt concentrations. We concluded that Capnocytophaga spp. are sensitive to oxygen-independent killing by human defensins. Additional studies will be required to identify other components that may equip human neutrophils to kill A. actinomycetemcomitans, E. corrodens, and other oral gram-negative bacteria.
PMCID: PMC313758  PMID: 2254020
12.  Damage to Candida albicans Hyphae and Pseudohyphae by the Myeloperoxidase System and Oxidative Products of Neutrophil Metabolism In Vitro 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1980;66(5):908-917.
In previous studies, we noted that Candida hyphae and pseudohyphae could be damaged and probably killed by neutrophils, primarily by oxygen-dependent nonphagocytic mechanisms. In extending these studies, amount of damage to hyphae again was measured by inhibition of [14C]cytosine uptake. Neutrophils from only one of four patients with chronic granulomatous disease damaged hyphae at all, and neutrophils from this single patient damaged hyphae far less efficiently than simultaneously tested neutrophils from normal control subjects. Neutrophils from neither of two subjects with hereditary myeloperoxidase deficiency damaged the hyphae. This confirmed the importance of oxidative mechanisms in general and myeloperoxidase-mediated systems in particular in damaging Candida hyphae.
Several potentially fungicidal oxidative intermediates are produced by metabolic pathways of normal neutrophils, but their relative toxicity for Candida hyphae was previously unknown. To help determine this, cell-free in vitro systems were used to generate these potentially microbicidal products. Myeloperoxidase with hydrogen peroxide, iodide, and chloride resulted in 91.2% damage to hyphal inocula in 11 experiments. There was less damage when either chloride or iodide was omitted, and no damage when myeloperoxidase was omitted or inactivated by heating. Azide, cyanide, and catalase (but not heated catalase) inhibited the damage. Systems for generation of hydrogen peroxide could replace reagent hydrogen peroxide in the myeloperoxidase system. These included glucose oxidase, in the presence of glucose, and xanthine oxidase, in the presence of either hypoxanthine or acetaldehyde. In the presence of myeloperoxidase and a halide, the toxicity of the xanthine oxidase system was not inhibited by superoxide dismutase and, under some conditions, was marginally increased by this enzyme. This suggested that superoxide radical did not damage hyphae directly but served primarily as an intermediate in the production of hydrogen peroxide. The possible damage to hyphae by singlet oxygen was examined using photoactivation of rose bengal. This dye damaged hyphae in the presence of light and oxygen. The effect was almost completely inhibited by putative quenchers of singlet oxygen: histidine, tryptophan, and 1,4-diazobicyclo[2.2.2]octane. These agents also inhibited damage to hyphae by myeloperoxidase, halide, and either hydrogen peroxide or a peroxide source (xanthine oxidase plus acetaldehyde). Myeloperoxidase-mediated damage to hyphae was also inhibited by dimethyl sulfoxide, an antioxidant and scavenger of the hydroxyl radical.
These data support the involvement of oxidative mechanisms and the myeloperoxidase-H2O2-halide system, in particular in damaging hyphae in vitro and perhaps in vivo as well.
PMCID: PMC371525  PMID: 6253527
13.  Mechanisms of Attachment of Neutrophils to Candida albicans Pseudohyphae in the Absence of Serum, and of Subsequent Damage to Pseudohyphae by Microbicidal Processes of Neutrophils In Vitro 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1978;61(2):360-369.
Mechanisms were studied that might explain the attachment and damage to Candida albicans pseudohyphae by neutrophils in the absence of serum. Attachment of neutrophils to pseudo hyphae was inhibited by Candida mannans (1-10 mg/ml), but not by mannose, dextran, chitin, conconavalin A, or highly charged polyamino acids. Contact was also inhibited by pretreatment of Candida before incubation with neutrophils with chymotrypsin, but not trypsin or several inhibitors of proteases. Similar results were obtained with pretreatment of neutrophils, except that trypsin was inhibitory. When pseudohyphae were killed with ultraviolet light, proteinpolysaccharide complexes of mol wt <10,000 were released which appeared to bind to the surfaces of neutrophils and inhibit contact between neutrophils and Candida, as well as other fungi.
Damage to Candida by neutrophils was inhibited by agents known to act on neutrophil oxidative microbicidal mechanisms, including sodium cyanide, sodium azide, catalase, superoxide dismutase, and 1, 4 diazobicyclo (2, 2, 2) octane, a singlet oxygen quencher. Neutrophils from a patient with chronic granulomatous disease did not damage Candida at all. However, the hydroxyl radical scavengers mannitol and benzoate were not inhibitory. Cationic proteins and lactoferrin also did not appear to play a major role in this system. Low concentrations of lysozyme which did not damage Candida in isotonic buffer solutions damaged pseudohyphae in distilled water. Isolated neutrophil granules damaged pseudohyphae only with added hydrogen peroxide and halide, and damage occurred only with granule fractions known to contain myeloperoxidase. These findings suggest that neutrophils recognized a molecule on the Candida surface which has a chymotrypsin sensitive protein component, and which may be liberated from the cell surface upon death of organism. The neutrophil receptors for Candida appear to be sensitive to trypsin and chymotrypsin. Damage to Candida by neutrophils occurred primarily by oxidative mechanisms, including the production of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide interacting with myeloperoxidase and halide, as well as singlet oxygen, but did not appear to involve hydroxyl radical. Lysozyme might have an accessory role, under some conditions.
PMCID: PMC372546  PMID: 340471
14.  Bactericidal activities of synthetic human leukocyte cathepsin G-derived antibiotic peptides and congeners against Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga sputigena. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1993;37(12):2710-2715.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. are gram-negative bacteria implicated in the etiology of periodontal disease (particularly in individuals with neutrophil defects) and life-threatening systemic infections. They are resistant to many antibiotics of microbial origin but are sensitive to the nonoxidative microbicidal action of neutrophils. These organisms are susceptible to the microbicidal effect of cathepsin G but are killed by two distinct mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to assess their sensitivity to the antibiotic effects of IIGGR and HPQYNQR, antimicrobial peptides derived from human neutrophil cathepsin G. The efficacies of the synthetic peptides IIGGR and HPQYNQR were tested by single-dose screening, dose-response, and kinetic assays against three representative strains (each) of A. actinomycetemcomitans and Capnocytophaga spp. and one strain of Eikenella corrodens. Strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans were sensitive to IIGGR and HPQYNQR at equal concentrations (wt/vol), whereas strains of Capnocytophaga and E. corrodens were more sensitive to IIGGR than to HPQYNQR. These differential antibiotic effects occurred over both time and dose ranges too narrow to be of therapeutic significance but are consistent with the premise that cathepsin G kills these oral bacteria by two distinct mechanisms. Except for IVGGR, congeners of IIGGR, including AIGGR, IAGGR, IIAGR, IIGAR, IIGGA, IQGGR, ILGGR, and I-norleucyl-GGR (InLGGR), were microbicidal at 500 micrograms/ml. IIGGR-amide exhibited no antibiotic activity. The D-enantiomer of IIGGR, DIDIGGDR, was as potent as IIGGR itself. APQYNQR exhibited antibiotic activity but somewhat less than HPQYNQR. We conclude that charge distribution, but not chirality or net charge, is an important determinant in the antibiotic efficacy of IIGGR. Moreover, peptide antibiotics derived from cathepsin G may have therapeutic value against periodontal gram-negative, facultative bacteria.
PMCID: PMC192786  PMID: 8109940
15.  Biochemical requirements for singlet oxygen production by purified human myeloperoxidase. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1984;74(4):1489-1495.
The myeloperoxidase (MPO)-hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-halide systems were found to produce chemiluminescence at 1,268 nm, a characteristic emission band for singlet oxygen (1O2). The emission was enhanced by a factor of 29 +/- 5 in deuterium oxide and was inhibited by the 1O2 quenchers, histidine and azide ion. Inactivation of MPO with heat or with cyanide ion prevented light production. The combined weight of all data strongly supported the production of 1O2 by these enzyme systems. The amount of 1O2 produced was sensitive to the conditions employed. Under optimal conditions at pH 5, the MPO-H2O2-bromide (Br-) system produced 0.42 +/- 0.03 mol 1O2/mol H2O2 consumed, close to the theoretical value of 0.5 that was predicted by the reaction stoichiometry. In contrast, the MPO-H2O2-chloride (Cl-) system was much less efficient. The maximum yield of 1O2 was 0.09 +/- 0.02 mol/mol H2O2 consumed and required pH 4 and 5 mM H2O2. At higher pH, the 1O2 production rapidly decreased. The yield at pH 7 was 0.0004 +/- 0.0002 mol/mol H2O2 consumed. Enzyme inactivation was a major factor limiting the yield of 1O2 with both Cl- and Br-. While the MPO-H2O2-halide systems can efficiently produce 1O2, the conditions required are not physiologic, which suggests that the chemiluminescence of the stimulated neutrophil does not derive from 1O2 generated by a MPO mechanism.
PMCID: PMC425319  PMID: 6090506
16.  Oxidative inactivation of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin by the neutrophil myeloperoxidase system. 
Infection and Immunity  1986;53(2):252-256.
The leukotoxin of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans has been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory periodontal disease. We examined a potential mechanism for detoxification of this microbial product by the neutrophil myeloperoxidase system. Exposure to myeloperoxidase, H2O2, and a halide resulted in marked inactivation of leukotoxin, an effect which required each component of the myeloperoxidase system. Toxin inactivation was blocked by agents which inhibit heme enzymes (azide, cyanide) or degrade H2O2 (catalase). Reagent H2O2 could be replaced by the peroxide-generating enzyme system glucose oxidase plus glucose. The latter system, in fact, was more potent than reagent H2O2 in terms of the capacity to inactivate high concentrations of toxin. Toxin inactivation was complete within 1 to 2 min at 37 degrees C. These observations suggest a possible role for oxidative inactivation of leukotoxin by secretory products of neutrophils.
PMCID: PMC260866  PMID: 3015798
17.  Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in Human Periodontal Disease: a Cross-Sectional Microbiological Investigation 
Infection and Immunity  1980;29(3):1013-1020.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is a facultative gram-negative bacterium which has been associated with severe oral and nonoral infections. This study examined its occurrence in the oral cavities of 10 normal juveniles, 11 normal adults, 10 juvenile periodontitis patients, and 12 adult periodontitis patients. Four deep periodontal pockets and two normal periodontal sites were sampled in the diseased patients, and six normal periodontal sites were sampled in the healthy individuals. In all subjects samples were obtained from the cheek, tongue, and saliva. Samples from a total of 172 normal periodontal sites, 83 deep periodontal pockets, 42 cheek mucosae, 42 tongue dorsa, and 42 salivas were examined. Isolation was performed by using a medium for selective isolation of A. actinomycetemcomitans (Trypticase soy agar [BBL Microbiology Systems] supplemented with 10% serum and 75 μg of bacitracin per ml). The carrier rates were 20% for normal juveniles, 36% for normal adults, 50% for adult periodontitis patients, and 90% for juvenile periodontitis patients. A. actinomycetemcomitans was on average recovered in about fivefold-higher numbers from infected deep periodontal pockets than from infected normal subgingival areas. Samples of periodontal pockets generally contained 100-fold-more cells of A. actinomycetemcomitans than did samples of the cheek, tongue, and saliva. A. actinomycetemcomitans is commonly isolated from patients with juvenile periodontitis, often isolated from patients with adult periodontitis, and occasionally isolated from normal juveniles and adults. Its primary oral ecological niche appears to be dental plaque and periodontal pockets.
PMCID: PMC551232  PMID: 6968718
Journal of leukocyte biology  2008;83(6):1345-1353.
Chloride anion is essential for myeloperoxidase to produce hypochlorous acid (HOCl) in neutrophils (PMNs). To define whether chloride availability to PMNs affects their HOCl production and microbicidal capacity, we examined how extracellular chloride concentration affects killing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PsA) by normal neutrophils. PMN-mediated bacterial killing was strongly dependent on extracellular chloride concentration. Neutrophils in a chloride-deficient medium killed PsA poorly. However, as the chloride level was raised, the killing efficiency increased in a dose-dependent fashion. By using specific inhibitors to selectively block NADPH-oxidase, MPO and CFTR functions, neutrophil-mediated killing of PsA could be attributed to three distinct mechanisms: 1) CFTR-dependent and oxidant-dependent, 2) chloride-dependent but not CFTR- and oxidant-dependent, and 3) independent of any of the tested factors. Therefore, chloride anion is involved in both oxidant- and non-oxidant-mediated bacterial killing. We previously reported that neutrophils from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients are defective in chlorination of ingested bacteria, suggesting that the chloride channel defect might impair the MPO-H2O2-chloride microbicidal function. Here, we compared the competence of killing PsA by neutrophils from normal donors and CF patients. The data demonstrate that the killing rate by CF neutrophils was significantly lower than that by normal neutrophils. CF neutrophils in a chloride-deficient environment had only 1/3 of the bactericidal capacity of normal neutrophils in a physiological chloride environment. These results suggest that CFTR-dependent chloride anion transport contributes significantly to killing PsA by normal neutrophils and, when defective as in CF, may compromise the ability to clear PsA.
PMCID: PMC2901559  PMID: 18353929
19.  Myeloperoxidase Interaction with Peroxynitrite: Chloride Deficiency and Heme Depletion 
Free radical biology & medicine  2009;47(4):431-439.
Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a hemoprotein, involved in the leukocyte mediated defense mechanism, and uses hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and chloride (Cl-) to produce hypochlorous acid. In human saliva and hypochloremic alkalosis syndrome occurring in breast fed infants, the MPO-H2O2 system functions in lower Cl- concentration (10-70 mM) compared to plasma levels (100 mM) as part of the antibacterial defense system. The impact of low Cl- concentration and exposure to high peroxynitrite (ONOO-) synthesized from cigarette smoke or oxidative stress on MPO function is still unexplored. Rapid mixing of ONOO- and MPO caused immediate formation of a transient intermediate MPO Compound II which then decayed to MPO-Fe (III). Double mixing of MPO with ONOO- followed by H2O2 caused immediate formation of Compound II followed by MPO heme depletion, a process that occured independent of ONOO- concentration. Peroxynitrite/H2O2-mediated MPO heme depletion was confirmed by HPLC analysis and in-gel heme staining showing 60-70% less heme content compared to the control. A non-reducing denaturing SDS PAGE showed no fragmentation or degradation of protein. Myeloperoxidase heme loss was completely prevented by pre-incubation of MPO with saturated amounts of Cl-. Chloride binding to the active site of MPO constrains ONOO- binding by filling the space directly above the heme moiety or by causing a protein conformational change that constricts the distal heme pocket, thus preventing ONOO- from binding to MPO heme iron. Peroxynitrite interaction with MPO may serve as a novel mechanism for modulating MPO catalytic activity, influencing the regulation of local inflammatory and infectious events in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3416043  PMID: 19464362
Hydrogen peroxidase; hypohalous acid; inflammation; mammalian peroxidase; smoking
20.  Microbicidal Activity of Vascular Peroxidase 1 in Human Plasma via Generation of Hypochlorous Acid 
Infection and Immunity  2012;80(7):2528-2537.
Members of the heme peroxidase family play an important role in host defense. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is expressed in phagocytes and is the only animal heme peroxidase previously reported to be capable of using chloride ion as a substrate to form the highly microbicidal species hypochlorous acid (HOCl) at neutral pH. Despite the potent bacterial killing activity of HOCl, individuals who fail to express MPO typically show only a modest increase in some fungal infections. This may point to the existence of redundant host defense mechanisms. Vascular peroxidase 1 (VPO1) is newly discovered member of the heme peroxidase family. VPO1 is expressed in cells of the cardiovascular system and is secreted into the bloodstream. In the present study, we investigate whether VPO1 is capable of generating HOCl and its role in host defense. Like MPO, VPO1 in the presence of H2O2 and chloride generates HOCl. VPO1-dependent HOCl generation was demonstrated by chlorination of taurine and tyrosine using mass spectrometry. In addition, the VPO1/H2O2/Cl− system can cause the chlorination of monochlorodimedone and the oxidation of 5-thio-2-nitrobenzoic acid. Purified VPO1 and VPO1 in plasma mediate bacterial killing that is dependent on chloride and H2O2; killing is inhibited by peroxidase inhibitors and by the H2O2 scavenger catalase. In the presence of erythrocytes, bacterial killing by VPO1 is slightly reduced. Thus, VPO1, in addition to MPO, is the second member of the heme peroxidase family capable of generating HOCl under physiological conditions. VPO1 is likely to participate in host defense, with bactericidal activity mediated through the generation of HOCl.
PMCID: PMC3416459  PMID: 22526679
21.  Microbicidal mechanisms of human granulocytes: synergistic effects of granulocyte elastase and myeloperoxidase or chymotrypsin-like cationic protein. 
Infection and Immunity  1976;14(6):1276-1283.
The antibacterial activity of a myeloperoxidase (MPO)-glucose oxidase system was found to be greatly increased by granulocyte elastase, present in azurophil granules of human neutrophils. The MPO-H2O3-mediated killing of both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus was potentiated by granuocyte elastase at an acid pH, whereas at pH 7.4 only killing of E. coli was potentiated. The potentiating effect of elastase was not dependent on the enzymatic properties of the protein since it was not abolished by heating, which destroys the enzymatic activity. A peptide chloromethyl ketone elastase inhibitor abolished both elastolytic activity and the pctentiating effects on MPO-H2-O2-mediated bacterial killing. The antibacterial activity of chymotrypsin-like cationic protein of human neutrophils was also potentiated by elastase. Other degradative enzymes isolated from human granulocytes, e.g., collagenase and lysozyme, did not potentiate MPO-H2O2-mediated or cationic protein-dependent bacterial killing. The present study indicates that a neutrophil constitutent, elastase, which is not microbicidal by itself, can initiate sublethal changes that render some microorganisms more susceptible to the action of microbicidal agents like MPO and chymotrypsin-like cationic protein.
PMCID: PMC415527  PMID: 12111
22.  Serology of oral Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and serotype distribution in human periodontal disease. 
Infection and Immunity  1983;41(1):19-27.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans from the human oral cavity was serologically characterized with rabbit antisera to the type strain NCTC 9710; a number of reference strains, including Y4, ATCC 29522, ATCC 29523, ATCC 29524, NCTC 9709; and our own isolates representative of each of 10 biotypes. Using immunoabsorbed antisera, we identified three distinct serotypes by immunodiffusion and indirect immunofluorescence. Serotype a was represented by ATCC 29523 and SUNYaB 75; serotype b was represented by ATCC 29522 and Y4; and serotype c was represented by NCTC 9710 and SUNYaB 67. Indirect immunofluorescence revealed no reaction between the three A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype-specific antisera and 62 strains representing 23 major oral bacterial species. Distinct from the serotype antigens were at least one A. actinomycetemcomitans species common antigen and an antigen shared with other Actinobacillus species, Haemophilus aphrophilus, and Haemophilus paraphrophilus. All serotype a A. actinomycetemcomitans strains failed to ferment xylose, whereas all serotype b organisms fermented xylose. Serotype c included xylose-positive as well as xylose-negative strains. A total of 301 isolates of A. actinomycetemcomitans from the oral cavity of 74 subjects were serologically categorized by indirect immunofluorescence with serotype-specific rabbit antisera. Each patient harbored only one serotype of A. actinomycetemcomitans. Fourteen healthy subjects, five diabetics, and seventeen adult periodontitis patients exhibited serotypes a and b in approximately equal frequency, whereas serotype c was found less frequently. In contrast, in 29 localized juvenile periodontitis patients, the incidence of serotype b was approximately two times higher than that of serotypes a or c, suggesting a particularly high periodontopathic potential of A. actinomycetemcomitans serotype b strains. In subjects infected with A. actinomycetemcomitans, serum antibodies were detected to the serotype antigens, indicating that these antigens may play a role in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease.
PMCID: PMC264736  PMID: 6407997
23.  Effect of clindamycin on neutrophil killing of gram-negative periodontal bacteria. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1988;32(10):1521-1527.
Periodontal diseases are infections of the tissues supporting the dentition. Recognition that relatively specific microfloras are associated with distinct clinical forms of periodontal disease has prompted the use of antimicrobial agents as adjuncts in periodontal therapy. Clindamycin is one of several antibiotics known to concentrate in bioactive form in neutrophils and to potentiate phagocyte bactericidal activity against certain bacteria. Neutrophils appear to play a key role in host defense against periodontopathic gram-negative bacteria. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of preincubation of neutrophils with therapeutically achievable concentrations of clindamycin upon subsequent in vitro bactericidal activity against three species of gram-negative periodontal bacteria, including Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Eikenella corrodens, and Capnocytophaga ochracea. In each instance, clindamycin neither enhanced nor inhibited the kinetics of bactericidal activity at low bacterium-neutrophil multiplicities. Further, this antibiotic had no demonstrable effect upon neutrophil bactericidal capacity, as assessed at bacterium-neutrophil ratios as high as 50:1. Our results indicate that clindamycin does not potentiate neutrophil bactericidal activity against the species of gram-negative periodontal organisms tested.
PMCID: PMC175911  PMID: 3056238
24.  Myeloperoxidase-Mediated Oxidation of Methionine and Amino Acid Decarboxylation 
Infection and Immunity  1982;36(1):136-141.
The myeloperoxidase (MPO)-mediated decarboxylation of amino acids and the MPO-mediated oxidation of methionine, two potential bactericidal mechanisms, were compared. In the presence of the MPO system (MPO, 50 mU/ml; H2O2, 0.1 mM; Cl−, 75 mM), 50% of alanine (0.1 mM) was decarboxylated, whereas only 5% of methionine (0.1 mM) was decarboxylated. In contrast, under similar conditions, 80% of methionine was oxidized to methionine sulfoxide. Once methionine was oxidized to methionine sulfoxide, it was decarboxylated (75%) by the MPO system. Methionine at 0.1 mM completely inhibited the decarboxylation of alanine, whereas alanine at a concentration 200 times that of methionine had no effect on the MPO-mediated oxidation of methionine. Sodium azide, an MPO inhibitor, inhibited the decarboxylation of alanine and the oxidation of methionine to the same extent. Tryptophan markedly inhibited the oxidation of methionine, whereas histidine stimulated it. Alanine, glycine, and taurine had no effect. In contrast, all of these amino acids and taurine markedly inhibited the MPO-mediated decarboxylation of alanine. NaN3, tryptophan, and methionine, which inhibited the MPO-mediated oxidation of methionine, also inhibited the killing of Staphylococcus aureus or Klebsiella pneumoniae by the MPO system; whereas histidine, alanine, and glycine, which did not inhibit the oxidation of methionine, had less or no effect on the killing of these two bacteria by the MPO system. Results suggest that methionine is preferentially oxidized to methionine sulfoxide by the MPO system. Once methionine is oxidized to methionine sulfoxide, it is then readily decarboxylated by the MPO system. The agent responsible for the oxidation of methionine may play an important role in the MPO-mediated killing of bacteria.
PMCID: PMC351195  PMID: 6281185
25.  Biochemical and Immunologic Analysis of Hereditary Myeloperoxidase Deficiency 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1983;71(5):1297-1307.
Myeloperoxidase (MPO), a heme enzyme present in the azurophilic granules of human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN), is important in the oxygen-dependent microbicidal activity of PMN. MPO deficiency, defined as the lack of PMN peroxidative activity, is a common genetic defect of human PMN. The purpose of our study was to characterize the structural basis for this loss of enzymatic activity, using protein biochemical and immunochemical techniques to examine PMN from three subjects with partial MPO deficiency and from five subjects with complete MPO deficiency.
We purified MPO from normal PMN and defined its electrophoretic mobility after two-dimensional electrophoretic separation, using nondenaturing acidic polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) followed by sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) denaturation and SDS-PAGE separation of MPO subunit peptides. In agreement with previous studies, we found that normal MPO had subunits of 59,000 and 13,500 mol wt when subjected to SDS-PAGE under reducing conditions.
Granule protein extracts of normal PMN, partially MPO-deficient PMN, and completely MPO-deficient PMN were analyzed with two-dimensional PAGE. Partially MPO-deficient PMN granules contained electrophoretically normal MPO in less than normal amounts, whereas completely MPO-deficient PMN granules contain no protein with the electrophoretic mobility of normal MPO.
Using rabbit antiserum against purified MPO, we used immunoautoradiographic analysis to examine whole PMN for peptides immunochemically related to MPO. PMN from normal, partially MPO-deficient, and completely MPO-deficient subjects were solubilized in SDS and component peptides separated by SDS-PAGE. The peptides were electroblotted onto nitrocellulose paper that was exposed sequentially to rabbit anti-MPO and 125I-protein A before autoradiography. Radiolabeled bands were identical when partially purified MPO or normal PMN were compared except that whole PMN contained a small amount of an immunologically cross-reactive membrane associated material of 75,000-90,000 mol wt. Using a modification of this immunoautoradiographic analysis, we quantitated the relative amounts of MPO peptides in PMN. PMN from MPO-deficient subjects contain 41.0-52.3% the amount of MPO peptides present in normal PMN. Similar analysis showed that completely MPO-deficient PMN lacked any peptides corresponding to MPO peptides.
We conclude that partial MPO deficiency is characterized by the presence of electrophoretically and immunologically normal MPO in amounts approximately one-half that seen in PMN from normal subjects. Completely MPO-deficient PMN lack any normal MPO peptides. No MPO-deficient subject studied had an immunologically cross-reacting variant of MPO. Since this deficiency is associated with the absence of more than one peptide, it is possible that the underlying genetic defect may involve: (a) failure to synthesize a single precursor peptide; (b) abnormal regulation of the synthesis of two separate peptides; or (c) an aberration in postsynthetic processing or packaging into azurophilic granules.
PMCID: PMC436991  PMID: 6189859

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