Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 100, Issue 8, pp 3667–3679 | Cite as

Implication of sortase-dependent proteins of Streptococcus thermophilus in adhesion to human intestinal epithelial cell lines and bile salt tolerance

  • Mounira Kebouchi
  • Wessam Galia
  • Magali Genay
  • Claire Soligot
  • Xavier Lecomte
  • Ahoefa Ablavi Awussi
  • Clarisse Perrin
  • Emeline Roux
  • Annie Dary-Mourot
  • Yves Le Roux
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Streptococcus thermophilus (ST) is a lactic acid bacterium widely used in dairy industry and displays several properties which could be beneficial for host. The objective of this study was to investigate, in vitro, the implication of sortase A (SrtA) and sortase-dependent proteins (SDPs) in the adhesion of ST LMD-9 strain to intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and resistance to bile salt mixture (BSM; taurocholoate, deoxycholate, and cholate). The effect of mutations in prtS (protease), mucBP (MUCin-Binding Protein), and srtA genes in ST LMD-9 in these mechanisms were examined. The HT29-MTX, HT29-CL.16E, and Caco-2 TC7 cell lines were used. HT29-MTX and HT29-CL.16E cells express different mucins found in the gastro intestinal tract; whereas, Caco-2 TC7 express cell surface proteins found in the small intestine. All mutants showed different adhesion profiles depending on cell lines. The mutation in genes srtA and mucBP leads to a significant decrease in LMD-9 adhesion capacity to Caco-2 TC7 cells. A mutation in mucBP gene has also shown a significant decrease in LMD-9 adhesion capacity to HT29-CL.16E cells. However, no difference was observed using HT29-MTX cells. Furthermore, ST LMD-9 and srtA mutant were resistant to BSM up to 3 mM. Contrariwise, no viable bacteria were detected for prtS and mucBP mutants at this concentration. Two conclusions could be drawn. First, SDPs could be involved in the LMD-9 adhesion depending on the cell lines indicating the importance of eukaryotic-cell surface components in adherence. Second, SDPs could contribute to resistance to bile salts probably by maintaining the cell membrane integrity.


S. thermophilus Sortase-dependent proteins (SDPs) Adhesion Intestinal epithelial cells Bile salt stress 



We thank Zeeshan Hafeez for the critical reading of the manuscript. Mounira Kebouchi is the recipient of a Ph.D. fellowship from the “Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche.”

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This article does not involve experiments on humans or animals.

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mounira Kebouchi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wessam Galia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Magali Genay
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claire Soligot
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xavier Lecomte
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ahoefa Ablavi Awussi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Clarisse Perrin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emeline Roux
    • 1
    • 2
  • Annie Dary-Mourot
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yves Le Roux
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Université de Lorraine, Unité de Recherche « Animal et Fonctionnalités des Produits Animaux» (UR AFPA), Équipe « Protéolyse et Biofonctionnalités des Protéines et des Peptides » (PB2P)Vandœuvre-lès-NancyFrance
  2. 2.INRA, Unité de Recherche « Animal et Fonctionnalités des Produits Animaux » (UR AFPA), Unité Sous Contrat 340Vandœuvre-lès-NancyFrance

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