EphA2 Is a Lung Epithelial Cell Receptor for Pneumocystis β-Glucans

Theodore J. Kottom, Kyle Schaefbauer, Eva M. Carmona, Andrew H. Limper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pneumocystis species interaction with myeloid cells is well known, especially in macrophages; however, how the organism binds to lung epithelial cells is incompletely understood. Ephrin type-A receptor 2 (EphA2) has been previously identified as a lung epithelial pattern recognition receptor that binds to fungal β-glucans. Herein, we also report that EphA2 can also bind Pneumocystis β-glucans, both in isolated forms and also on exposed surfaces of the organism. Furthermore, binding of Pneumocystis β-glucans resulted in phosphorylation of the EphA2 receptor, which has been shown to be important for downstream proinflammatory response. Indeed, we also show that interleukin 6 cytokine is significantly increased when lung epithelial cells are exposed to Pneumocystis β-glucans, and that this response could be blocked by preincubation with a specific antibody to EphA2. Our study presents another Pneumocystis lung epithelial cell receptor with implications for initial colonization and possible therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • PRR
  • Pneumocystis
  • ephrin type-A receptor
  • epithelial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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