The influences of IgA hinge length and composition on its susceptibility to cleavage by bacterial IgA1 proteases were examined using a panel of IgA hinge mutants. The IgA1 proteases of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus sanguis strains SK4 and SK49, Neisseria meningitidis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Haemophilus influenzae cleaved IgA2-IgA1 half hinge, an Ab featuring half of the IgA1 hinge incorporated into the equivalent site in IgA1 protease-resistant IgA2, whereas those of Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus oralis, and S. sanguis strain SK1 did not. Hinge length reduction by removal of two of the four C-terminal proline residues rendered IgA2-IgA1 half hinge resistant to all streptococcal IgA1 metalloproteinases but it remained sensitive to cleavage by the serine-type IgA1 proteases of Neisseria and Haemophilus spp. The four C-terminal proline residues could be substituted by alanine residues or transferred to the N-terminal extremity of the hinge without affect on the susceptibility of the Ab to cleavage by serine-type IgA1 proteases. However, their removal rendered the Ab resistant to cleavage by all the IgA1 proteases. We conclude that the serine-type IgA1 proteases of Neisseria and Haemophilus require the Fab and Fc regions to be separated by at least ten (or in the case of N. gonorrhoeae type I protease, nine) amino acids between Val222 and Cys241 (IgA1 numbering) for efficient access and cleavage. By contrast, the streptococcal IgA1 metalloproteinases require 12 or more appropriate amino acids between the Fab and Fc to maintain a minimum critical distance between the scissile bond and the start of the Fc.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|