Bacteria have developed several mechanisms for iron uptake during colonization of mammalian hosts, where the availability of free iron is limiting for growth. Neisseria meningitidis expresses under iron-limiting conditions a receptor complex consisting of the lactoferrin-binding proteins A (LbpA) and LbpB to acquire iron from lactoferrin, which is abundantly present on the mucosal surfaces of the human nasopharynx. LbpA is an integral outer membrane-embedded iron transporter, whereas LbpB is a cell surface-exposed lipoprotein. In this study, we demonstrate that LbpB is also released into the culture medium. We identified NalP, an autotransporter known to be involved in the processing of other autotransporters, as the protease responsible for LbpB release. This release of LbpB reduced the complement-mediated killing of the bacteria when incubated with an LbpB-specific bactericidal antiserum. Since antibodies directed against LbpB are found in convalescent-patient sera, the release of an immunogenic protein as LbpB may represent a novel means for N. meningitidis to escape the human immune response. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.