Carla Renata Arciola, Yasser Bustanji, Matteo Conti, Davide Campoccia, Lucilla Baldassarri, Bruno Samor, Lucio Montanaro.

Staphylococcus-Fibronectin binding and its inhibition by heparin.

 Biomaterials. 2003, 24, 3013.


 Staphylococcus epidermidis is able to adhere onto biomaterials and to cause implant infections. Recently, host matrix proteins, which in vivo cover the implants, have been indicated as substrates for adhesion by specific bacterial adhesins. Here, the binding of S. epidermidis to fibronectin, a main protein of the extracellular matrix, and the effect of heparin on this interaction were studied by dynamic force spectroscopy (DFS). Novelties are that S. epidermidis strains analysed by DFS were clinical isolates from prosthesis-associated infections, genotyped and phenotyped for their adhesion properties to fibronectin and examined as living cells. Thus, fibronectin-binding staphylococci adhered to the fibronectin-coated substratum and formed a continuous layer assuring their contact with the fibronectin-coated cantilever tip during the approach-retraction cycles of the DFS measurements. Results show that only a single molecular binding site of fibronectin is involved in the interaction with S. epidermidis, that it takes place at the domain near the C-terminus and that it is specifically inhibited by heparin.