Proteomics of extracellular vesicles produced by Granulicatella adiacens, which causes infective endocarditis

PLoS One. 2020 Nov 20;15(11):e0227657. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227657. eCollection 2020.


When oral bacteria accidentally enter the bloodstream due to transient tissue damage during dental procedures, they have the potential to attach to the endocardium or an equivalent surface of an indwelling prosthesis and cause infection. Many bacterial species produce extracellular vesicles (EVs) as part of normal physiology, but also use it as a virulence strategy. In this study, it was hypothesized that Granulicatella adiacens produce EVs that possibly help it in virulence. Therefore, the objectives were to isolate and characterize EVs produced by G. adiacens and to investigate its immune-stimulatory effects. The reference strain G. adiacens CCUG 27809 was cultured on chocolate blood agar for 2 days. From subsequent broth culture, the EVs were isolated using differential centrifugation and filtration protocol and then observed using scanning electron microscopy. Proteins in the vesicle preparation were identified by nano LC-ESI-MS/MS. The EVs proteome was analyzed and characterized using different bioinformatics tools. The immune-stimulatory effect of the EVs was studied via ELISA quantification of IL-8, IL-1β and CCL5, major proinflammatory cytokines, produced from stimulated human PBMCs. It was revealed that G. adiacens produced EVs, ranging in diameter from 30 to 250 nm. Overall, G. adiacens EVs contained 112 proteins. The proteome consists of several ribosomal proteins, DNA associated proteins, binding proteins, and metabolic enzymes. It was also shown that these EVs carry putative virulence factors including moonlighting proteins. These EVs were able to induce the production of IL-8, IL-1β and CCL5 from human PBMCs. Further functional characterization of the G. adiacens EVs may provide new insights into virulence mechanisms of this important but less studied oral bacterial species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carnobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Carnobacteriaceae / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Extracellular Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Vesicles / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / microbiology
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • Cytokines
  • Proteome
  • Virulence Factors

Supplementary concepts

  • Granulicatella adiacens

Grant support

MK received funding from Kuwait University Grant Number SRUL 01/14. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.