Neisseria meningitidis GNA2132, a heparin-binding protein that induces protective immunity in humans

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (8): 3770--3775 (February 2010)PMID: 20133713.


GNA2132 is a Neisseria meningitidis antigen of unknown function, discovered by reverse vaccinology, which has been shown to induce bactericidal antibodies in animal models. Here we show that this antigen induces protective immunity in humans and it is recognized by sera of patients after meningococcal disease. The protein binds heparin in vitro through an Arg-rich region and this property correlates with increased survival of the unencapsulated bacterium in human serum. Furthermore, two proteases, the meningococcal NalP and human lactoferrin, cleave the protein upstream and downstream from the Arg-rich region, respectively. We conclude that GNA2132 is an important protective antigen of N. meningitidis and we propose to rename it, Neisserial Heparin Binding Antigen (NHBA).

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