2019 年 42 巻 6 号 p. 982-988
Staphylococcus aureus produces a variety of exoproteins that interfere with host immune systems. We attempted to purify cytotoxins against human leukocytic cells from the culture supernatant of S. aureus by a combination of ammonium sulfate precipitation, ion-exchange chromatography on a CM-cellulose column and HPLC on a Mono S 5/50 column. A major protein possessing cytotoxicity to HL60 human promyelocytic leukemia cells was purified, and the protein was identified as α-hemolysin (Hla, α-toxin) based on its molecular weight (34 kDa) and N-terminal amino acid sequence. Flow cytometric analysis suggested differential cytotoxicity of Hla against different human peripheral blood leukocyte populations. After cell fractionation with density-gradient centrifugation, we found that peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were more susceptible to Hla than polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Moreover, cell surface marker analysis suggested that Hla exhibited slightly higher cytotoxicity against CD14-positive PBMCs (mainly monocytes) than CD3- or CD19-positive cells (T or B lymphocytes). From these results, we conclude that human leukocytes have different susceptibility to Hla depending on their cell lineages, and thereby the toxin may modulate the host immune response.