DOI: 10.3390/pathogens13020155 ISSN: 2076-0817

Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Cytolethal Distending Toxin Induces Cellugyrin-(Synaptogyrin 2) Dependent Cellular Senescence in Oral Keratinocytes

Bruce J. Shenker, Jonathan Korostoff, Lisa P. Walker, Ali Zekavat, Anuradha Dhingra, Taewan J. Kim, Kathleen Boesze-Battaglia
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Allergy

Recently, we reported that oral-epithelial cells (OE) are unique in their response to Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) in that cell cycle arrest (G2/M) occurs without leading to apoptosis. We now demonstrate that Cdt-induced cell cycle arrest in OE has a duration of at least 7 days with no change in viability. Moreover, toxin-treated OE develops a new phenotype consistent with cellular senescence; this includes increased senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity and accumulation of the lipopigment, lipofuscin. Moreover, the cells exhibit a secretory profile associated with cellular senescence known as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), which includes IL-6, IL-8 and RANKL. Another unique feature of Cdt-induced OE senescence is disruption of barrier function, as shown by loss of transepithelial electrical resistance and confocal microscopic assessment of primary gingival keratinocyte structure. Finally, we demonstrate that Cdt-induced senescence is dependent upon the host cell protein cellugyrin, a homologue of the synaptic vesicle protein synaptogyrin. Collectively, these observations point to a novel pathogenic outcome in oral epithelium that we propose contributes to both A. actinomycetemcomitans infection and periodontal disease progression.

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