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Aeromonas salmonicida Binds Differentially to Mucins Isolated from Skin and Intestinal Regions of Atlantic Salmon in an N-Acetylneuraminic Acid-Dependent Manner.

Journal article
Authors János T Padra
Henrik Sundh
Chunsheng Jin
Niclas G. Karlsson
Kristina Sundell
Sara K. Lindén
Published in Infection and immunity
Volume 82
Issue 12
Pages 5235-45
ISSN 1098-5522
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 5235-45
Language en
Keywords mucus, mucin, host-pathogen interactions, adhesion, glycosylation
Subject categories Immunology, Microbiology, Biochemistry and clinical chemistry


Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida infection, also known as furunculosis disease, is associated with high morbidity and mortality in salmonid aquaculture. The first line of defense the pathogen encounters is the mucus layer, which is predominantly comprised of secreted mucins. Here we isolated and characterized mucins from the skin and intestinal tract of healthy Atlantic salmon and studied how A. salmonicida bound to them. The mucins from the skin, pyloric ceca, and proximal and distal intestine mainly consisted of mucins soluble in chaotropic agents. The mucin density and mucin glycan chain length from the skin were lower than were seen with mucin from the intestinal tract. A. salmonicida bound to the mucins isolated from the intestinal tract to a greater extent than to the skin mucins. The mucins from the intestinal regions had higher levels of sialylation than the skin mucins. Desialylating intestinal mucins decreased A. salmonicida binding, whereas desialylation of skin mucins resulted in complete loss of binding. In line with this, A. salmonicida also bound better to mammalian mucins with high levels of sialylation, and N-acetylneuraminic acid appeared to be the sialic acid whose presence was imperative for binding. Thus, sialylated structures are important for A. salmonicida binding, suggesting a pivotal role for sialylation in mucosal defense. The marked differences in sialylation as well as A. salmonicida binding between the skin and intestinal tract suggest interorgan differences in the host-pathogen interaction and in the mucin defense against A. salmonicida.

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