Ali SR, Fong JJ, Carlin AF, Busch TD, Linden R, Angata T, Areschoug T, Parast M, Varki N, Murray J, Nizet V, Varki A. (2014) Siglec-5 and Siglec-14 are polymorphic paired receptors that modulate neutrophil and amnion signaling responses to group B Streptococcus. J Exp Med. 211(6):1231-42. PMID: 24799499. PMCID: PMC4042635.
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) causes invasive infections in human newborns. We recently showed that the GBS β-protein attenuates innate immune responses by binding to sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin 5 (Siglec-5), an inhibitory receptor on phagocytes. Interestingly, neutrophils and monocytes also express Siglec-14, which has a ligand-binding domain almost identical to Siglec-5 but signals via an activating motif, raising the possibility that these are paired Siglec receptors that balance immune responses to pathogens. Here we show that β-protein-expressing GBS binds to both Siglec-5 and Siglec-14 on neutrophils and that the latter engagement counteracts pathogen-induced host immune suppression by activating p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and AKT signaling pathways. Siglec-14 is absent from some humans because of a SIGLEC14-null polymorphism, and homozygous SIGLEC14-null neutrophils are more susceptible to GBS immune subversion. Finally, we report an unexpected human-specific expression of Siglec-5 and Siglec-14 on amniotic epithelium, the site of initial contact of invading GBS with the fetus. GBS amnion immune activation was likewise influenced by the SIGLEC14-null polymorphism. We provide initial evidence that the polymorphism could influence the risk of prematurity among human fetuses of mothers colonized with GBS. This first functionally proven example of a paired receptor system in the Siglec family has multiple implications for regulation of host immunity.
© 2014 Ali et al.
Link to journal: http://jem.rupress.org/