Biomol Concepts. 2020 Dec 31;11(1):230-239. doi: 10.1515/bmc-2020-0021.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a gram-positive bacteria, which causes various fatal respiratory infections including pneumonia. The emergence of Methicillin-Resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) demands a thorough understanding of host-pathogen interactions. Here we report the role of calcium in regulating defence responses of S. aureus in macrophages. Regulating calcium fluxes in cells by different routes differentially governs the expression of T cell costimulatory molecule CD80 and Th1 promoting IL-12 receptor. Inhibiting calcium influx from extracellular medium increased expression of IFN-γ and IL-10 while blocking calcium release from the intracellular stores inhibited TGF-β levels. Blocking voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) inhibited the expression of multiple cytokines. While VGCC regulated the expression of apoptosis protein Bax, extracellular calcium-regulated the expression of Cytochrome-C. Similarly, VGCC regulated the expression of autophagy initiator Beclin-1. Blocking VGCC or calcium release from intracellular stores promoted phagosome-lysosome fusion, while activating VGCC inhibited phagosomelysosome fusion. Finally, calcium homeostasis regulated intracellular growth of Staphylococcus, although using different mechanisms. While blocking extracellular calcium influx seems to rely on IFN-γ and IL-12Rβ receptor mediated reduction in bacterial survival, blocking either intracellular calcium release or via VGCC route seem to rely on enhanced autophagy mediated reduction of intracellular bacterial survival. These results point to fine-tuning of defence responses by routes of calcium homeostasis.