A plasminogen-activating protease specifically controls the development of primary pneumonic plague

Wyndham W. Lathem, Paul A. Price, Virginia L. Miller, William E. Goldman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

196 Scopus citations

Abstract

Primary pneumonic plague is transmitted easily, progresses rapidly, and causes high mortality, but the mechanisms by which Yersinia pestis overwhelms the lungs are largely unknown. We show that the plasminogen activator Pla is essential for Y. pestis to cause primary pneumonic plague but is less important for dissemination during pneumonic plague than during bubonic plague. Experiments manipulating its temporal expression showed that Pla allows Y. pestis to replicate rapidly in the airways, causing a lethal fulminant pneumonia; if unexpressed, inflammation is aborted, and lung repair is activated. Inhibition of Pla expression prolonged the survival of animals with the disease, offering a therapeutic option to extend the period during which antibiotics are effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-513
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume315
Issue number5811
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 26 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A plasminogen-activating protease specifically controls the development of primary pneumonic plague'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this