Cytosolic proteins contribute to surface plasminogen recruitment of Neisseria meningitidis

J Bacteriol. 2007 Apr;189(8):3246-55. doi: 10.1128/JB.01966-06. Epub 2007 Feb 16.


Plasminogen recruitment is a common strategy of pathogenic bacteria and results in a broad-spectrum surface-associated protease activity. Neisseria meningitidis has previously been shown to bind plasminogen. In this study, we show by several complementary approaches that endolase, DnaK, and peroxiredoxin, which are usually intracellular proteins, can also be located in the outer membrane and act as plasminogen receptors. Internal binding motifs, rather than C-terminal lysine residues, are responsible for plasminogen binding of the N. meningitidis receptors. Recombinant receptor proteins inhibit plasminogen association with N. meningitidis in a concentration-dependent manner. Besides binding purified plasminogen, N. meningitidis can also acquire plasminogen from human serum. Activation of N. meningitidis-associated plasminogen by urokinase results in functional activity and allows the bacteria to degrade fibrinogen. Furthermore, plasmin bound to N. meningitidis is protected against inactivation by alpha(2)-antiplasmin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs / physiology
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Binding Sites / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neisseria meningitidis / metabolism*
  • Neisseria meningitidis / pathogenicity
  • Peroxidases / metabolism
  • Peroxiredoxins
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase / metabolism
  • Plasminogen / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator
  • Virulence


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • PLAUR protein, human
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator
  • Plasminogen
  • Peroxidases
  • Peroxiredoxins
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase