2011 journal article
Enterococcus faecalis Metalloprotease Compromises Epithelial Barrier and Contributes to Intestinal Inflammation
GASTROENTEROLOGY, 141(3), 959–971.
Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) mediate pathogenesis of chronic intestinal inflammation. We characterized the role of the gelatinase (GelE), a metalloprotease from Enterococcus faecalis, in the development of colitis in mice.Germ-free, interleukin-10-deficient (IL-10(-/-)) mice were monoassociated with the colitogenic E faecalis strain OG1RF and isogenic, GelE-mutant strains. Barrier function was determined by measuring E-cadherin expression, transepithelial electrical resistance (TER), and translocation of permeability markers in colonic epithelial cells and colon segments from IL-10(-/-) and TNF(ΔARE/Wt) mice. GelE specificity was shown with the MMP inhibitor marimastat.Histologic analysis (score 0-4) of E faecalis monoassociated IL-10(-/-) mice revealed a significant reduction in colonic tissue inflammation in the absence of bacteria-derived GelE. We identified cleavage sites for GelE in the sequence of recombinant mouse E-cadherin, indicating that it might be degraded by GelE. Experiments with Ussing chambers and purified GelE revealed the loss of barrier function and extracellular E-cadherin in mice susceptible to intestinal inflammation (IL-10(-/-) and TNF(ΔARE/Wt) mice) before inflammation developed. Colonic epithelial cells had reduced TER and increased translocation of permeability markers after stimulation with GelE from OG1RF or strains of E faecalis isolated from patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.The metalloprotease GelE, produced by commensal strains of E faecalis, contributes to development of chronic intestinal inflammation in mice that are susceptible to intestinal inflammation (IL-10(-/-) and TNF(ΔARE/Wt) mice) by impairing epithelial barrier integrity.