Binding of Pneumocystis carinii to the lung epithelial cell receptor HSPA5 (GRP78)

Theodore J. Kottom, Deanne M. Hebrink, Andrew H. Limper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The importance of lung macrophages in Pneumocystis-host interaction is well known, but little is known about the initial binding/colonization of the airway epithelium. Our prior studies have documented cell-signalling events that occur following binding of the organisms to lung epithelial cells; however, the receptors that mediate Pneumocystis attachment to lung surfaces have not yet been fully defined. Using affinity chromatography, we identified heat shock protein 5 (HSPA5), also known as GRP78, as a potential host receptor that may have relevance in Pneumocystis lung colonization. Pneumocystis carinii (Pc) organisms not only bound HSPA5 on a rat lung epithelial cell line, but also on primary rat airway epithelial cells (AECs). Furthermore, Pc bound CHO1 cells overexpressing HSPA5 more than the CHO1 parent line alone, supporting a role for Pc-HSPA5 protein interaction in mediating organism attachment. These results provide new insights into the interactions of Pneumocystis with host lung epithelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number000864
Pages (from-to)1772-1777
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of medical microbiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Pneumocystis Epithelium Adherence Receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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