Staphylococcal protein a is a key factor in neutrophil extracellular traps formation

Tamara Hoppenbrouwers, Andi R. Sultan, Tsion E. Abraham, Nicole A. Lemmens-den Toom, Silvie Hansenová Manásková, Wiggert A. van Cappellen, Adriaan B. Houtsmuller, Willem J.B. van Wamel, Moniek P.M. de Maat, Johan W. van Neck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Staphylococcus aureus are strong inducers of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), a defense mechanism of neutrophils against pathogens. Our aim was to explore the role of Protein A in S. aureus-induced NETosis. We determined the Protein A production of four different S. aureus strains and found a direct relationship between the degree of NETosis induction and Protein A production: strains producing higher concentrations of Protein A evoke significantly more NETs. A S. aureus strain in which Protein A as well as a second binding protein for immunoglobulins (Sbi) have been knocked-out (ΔSpA ΔSbi) induced significantly less NETosis than the wild-type strain. NETosis induction by this knockout strain can be rescued by the addition of purified Protein A. Dead S. aureus did not induce NETosis. In conclusion, Protein A is a determinant for NETosis induction by S. aureus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • NETs
  • Neutrophil extracellular traps
  • Protein A
  • S. aureus
  • SpA
  • Staphylococcus aureus


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