Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a normal colonizer of the human nasopharynx capable of causing serious invasive disease. Since colonization of the nasopharynx is a prerequisite for progression to invasive diseases, the development of future protein-based vaccines requires an understanding of the intimate interaction of bacterial adhesins with host receptors. In this study, we identified that pneumococcal surface adhesin A (PsaA), a highly conserved pneumococcal protein known to play an important role in colonization of pneumococcus, can interact with Annexin A2 (ANXA2) on Detroit 562 nasopharyngeal epithelial cells. Lentiviral expression of ANXA2 in HEK 293 T/17 cells, which normally express minimal ANXA2, significantly increased pneumococcal adhesion. Blocking of ANXA2 with recombinant PsaA negatively impacted pneumococcal adherence to ANXA2-transduced HEK cells. These results suggest that ANXA2 is an important host cellular receptor for pneumococcal colonization.
Keywords: Annexin A2 (Anxa2); Streptococcus pneumoniae; adhesion; colonization; host cellular receptor; protein vaccine; surface protein adhesin A (PsaA).