The amino acid sequence requirements in the hinge of human immunoglobulin A1 (IgA1) for cleavage by IgA1 proteases of different species of Streptococcus were investigated. Recombinant IgA1 antibodies were generated with point mutations at proline 227 and threonine 228, the residues lying on either side of the peptide bond at which all streptococcal IgA1 proteases cleave wild-type human IgA1. The amino acid substitutions produced no major effect upon the structure of the mutant IgA1 antibodies or their functional ability to bind to Fcalpha receptors. However, the substitutions had a substantial effect upon sensitivity to cleavage with some streptococcal IgA1 proteases, with, in some cases, a single point mutation rendering the antibody resistant to a particular IgA1 protease. This effect was least marked with the IgA1 protease from Streptococcus pneumoniae, which showed no absolute requirement for either proline or threonine at residues 227 to 228. By contrast, the IgA1 proteases of Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus sanguis, and Streptococcus mitis had an absolute requirement for proline at 227 but not for threonine at 228, which could be replaced by valine. There was evidence in S. mitis that proteases from different strains may have different amino acid requirements for cleavage. Remarkably, some streptococcal proteases appeared able to cleave the hinge at a distant alternative site if substitution prevented efficient cleavage of the original site. Hence, this study has identified key residues required for the recognition of the IgA1 hinge as a substrate by streptococcal IgA1 proteases, and it marks a preliminary step towards development of specific enzyme inhibitors.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Infection and Immunity|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2003|