Inhibition of CDC42 activity at the cell membrane prevents host cell invasion of Staphylococcus aureus
Staphylococcus aureus infections have become a widespread problem. Simvastatin decreases S. aureus invasion. Simvastatin use reduces prenylation of target proteins, including CDC42. Prenylated CDC42 is active at the cell membrane. Our hypothesis is that CDC42 activity at the cell membrane is needed for endocytic S. aureus invasion. The prenylation site on CDC42 was deleted and mutant CDC42 (CDC42C5O7V/V5) was transfected into mammalian cells, which were exposed to S. aureus. Decreased bacterial infection of up to 90% was seen in cells stably expressing CDC42C507V/V5. Mammalian cells were treated with secramine A, an inhibitor of CDC42 activity, and exposed to S. aureus. Decreased bacterial invasion of 70% in these cells was seen. These findings suggest that CDC42 activity at the cell membrane is needed for S. aureus cell invasion. These findings increase understanding of the mechanism of S. aureus cell invasion and could be used to develop new treatment or prevention methods.