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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Frontiers in Immunology
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Hoppenbrouwers, T., Sultan, A., Abraham, T., Lemmens-den Toom, N., Maňásková, S. H., van Cappellen, G., … van Neck, H. (2018). Staphylococcal protein a is a key factor in neutrophil extracellular traps formation. Frontiers in Immunology, 9(FEB). doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.00165