Staphylococcus aureus is a dangerous opportunistic human pathogen that causes serious invasive diseases when it reaches the bloodstream. Recent studies have shown that S. aureus is highly resistant to killing by professional phagocytes and that such cells even provide a favorable environment for intracellular survival of S. aureus. Importantly, the reciprocal interactions between phagocytes and S. aureus have remained largely elusive. Here we have employed kinase profiling to define the nature and time resolution of the human THP-1 macrophage response toward S. aureus and proteomics to identify the response of S. aureus toward macrophages. The results of these studies reveal major macrophage signaling pathways triggered by S. aureus and proteomic signatures of the responses of S. aureus to macrophages. We also identify human proteins bound to S. aureus that have potential roles in bacterial killing and internalization. Most noticeably, our observations challenge the classical concept that macrophage responses are mainly mediated through Toll-like receptor 2 and NF-kB signaling and highlight the important role of the stress-activated MAP kinase signaling in orchestrating the host defense.

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Journal of Proteome Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Miller, M., Dreisbach, A., Otto, A., Becher, D., Bernhardt, J., Hecker, M., … Dijl, J. M. (2011). Mapping of interactions between human macrophages and Staphylococcus aureus reveals an involvement of MAP kinase signaling in the host defense. Journal of Proteome Research, 10(9), 4018–4032. doi:10.1021/pr200224x