The opportunism of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) in immunocompromised hosts prompted us to explore the potential role of sialic acids (Sia) in this phenomenon. Culture of PA in the presence of exogenous Sia resulted in linkage-specific incorporation of Sia which was associated with decreased complement deposition on the bacteria. Sia acquired by PA mediated enhanced binding of bacteria to recombinant-CHO cells expressing human siglec-7 or siglec-9, as well as to human NK-cells and monocytes naturally expressing these siglecs. Therefore, Sia may be acquired by PA in the host and contribute to bacterial pathogenicity and host-cell interactions via reduction of complement deposition and siglec-dependent recognition.
2009 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.