Leptospira interrogans endostatin-like outer membrane proteins bind host fibronectin, laminin and regulators of complement

Brian Stevenson, Henry A. Choy, Marija Pinne, Matthew L. Rotondi, M. Clarke Miller, Edward DeMoll, Peter Kraiczy, Anne E. Cooley, Trevor P. Creamer, Marc A. Suchard, Catherine A. Brissette, Ashutosh Verma, David A. Haake

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168 Scopus citations


The pathogenic spirochete Leptospira interrogans disseminates throughout its hosts via the bloodstream, then invades and colonizes a variety of host tissues. Infectious leptospires are resistant to killing by their hosts' alternative pathway of complement- mediated killing, and interact with various host extracellular matrix (ECM) components. The LenA outer surface protein (formerly called LfhA and Lsa24) was previously shown to bind the host ECM component laminin and the complement regulators factor H and factor H-related protein-1. We now demonstrate that infectious L. interrogans contain five additional paralogs of lenA, which we designated lenB, lenC, lenD, lenE and lenF. All six genes encode domains predicted to bear structural and functional similarities with mammalian endostatins. Sequence analyses of genes from seven infectious L, interrogans serovars indicated development of sequence diversity through recombination and intragenic duplication. LenB was found to bind human factor H, and all of the newly-described Len proteins bound laminin. In addition, LenB, LenC, LenD, LenE and LenF all exhibited affinities for fibronectin, a distinct host extracellular matrix protein. These characteristics suggest that Len proteins together facilitate invasion and colonization of host tissues, and protect against host immune responses during mammalian infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1188
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 14 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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