Staphylococcus aureus are strong inducers of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), a defense mechanism of neutrophils against pathogens. Our aim was to explore the role of Protein A in S. aureus-induced NETosis. We determined the Protein A production of four different S. aureus strains and found a direct relationship between the degree of NETosis induction and Protein A production: strains producing higher concentrations of Protein A evoke significantly more NETs. A S. aureus strain in which Protein A as well as a second binding protein for immunoglobulins (Sbi) have been knocked-out (ΔSpA ΔSbi) induced significantly less NETosis than the wild-type strain. NETosis induction by this knockout strain can be rescued by the addition of purified Protein A. Dead S. aureus did not induce NETosis. In conclusion, Protein A is a determinant for NETosis induction by S. aureus.

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Keywords NETs, Neutrophil extracellular traps, Protein A, S. aureus, SpA, Staphylococcus aureus
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Journal Frontiers in Immunology
Hoppenbrouwers, T, Sultan, A.R, Abraham, T.E, Lemmens-den Toom, N, Maňásková, S.H, van Cappellen, W.A, … van Neck, J.W. (2018). Staphylococcal protein a is a key factor in neutrophil extracellular traps formation. Frontiers in Immunology, 9(FEB). doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.00165