Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, invades and replicates within macrophages and protozoan cells inside a vacuole. The type IVB Icm/Dot secretion system is necessary for the translocation of effector proteins that modulate vesicle trafficking pathways in the host cell, thus avoiding phagosome-lysosome fusion. The Legionella VipA effector was previously identified by its ability to interfere with organelle trafficking in the Multivesicular Body (MVB) pathway when ectopically expressed in yeast. In this study, we show that VipA binds actin in vitro and directly polymerizes microfilaments without the requirement of additional proteins, displaying properties distinct from other bacterial actin nucleators. Microscopy studies revealed that fluorescently tagged VipA variants localize to puncta in eukaryotic cells. In yeast these puncta are associated with actin-rich regions and components of the Multivesicular Body pathway such as endosomes and the MVB-associated protein Bro1. During macrophage infection, native translocated VipA associated with actin patches and early endosomes. When ectopically expressed in mammalian cells, VipA-GFP displayed a similar distribution ruling out the requirement of additional effectors for binding to its eukaryotic targets. Interestingly, a mutant form of VipA, VipA-1, that does not interfere with organelle trafficking is also defective in actin binding as well as association with early endosomes and shows a homogeneous cytosolic localization. These results show that the ability of VipA to bind actin is related to its association with a specific subcellular location as well as its role in modulating organelle trafficking pathways. VipA constitutes a novel type of actin nucleator that may contribute to the intracellular lifestyle of Legionella by altering cytoskeleton dynamics to target host cell pathways.
Legionella pneumophila is a facultative intracellular bacterium that can cause an often fatal type of pneumonia known as Legionnaires' disease. In nature, L. pneumophila is found in both fresh water and soil where it parasitizes free-living protists. Upon inhalation of contaminated aerosols, L. pneumophila invades and replicates in alveolar macrophages, leading to inflammation and development of the disease. Legionella uses a type IVB secretion system to translocate effector proteins into the host cell that modify its trafficking pathways and prevent fusion of the newly formed phagosome with the lysosome. One of these effectors is VipA, which, when expressed in yeast interferes with the Multivesicular Body (MVB) pathway. We found that VipA protein binds actin and nucleates its polymerization without additional host factors. VipA localizes in puncta in eukaryotic cells, and these colocalize with actin-rich regions and endosomes. We demonstrate that the ability to disrupt the MVB is associated with the capacity to bind actin. Thus VipA may contribute to the intracellular lifestyle of L. pneumophila by targeting the cytoskeleton in order to disrupt normal vacuolar trafficking pathways in host cells.
The intracellular human pathogens Legionella pneumophila and Mycobacterium tuberculosis reside in altered phagosomes that do not fuse with lysosomes and are only mildly acidified. The L. pneumophila phagosome exists completely outside the endolysosomal pathway, and the M. tuberculosis phagosome displays a maturational arrest at an early endosomal stage along this pathway. Rab5 plays a critical role in regulating membrane trafficking involving endosomes and phagosomes. To determine whether an alteration in the function or delivery of Rab5 could play a role in the aberrant development of L. pneumophila and M. tuberculosis phagosomes, we have examined the distribution of the small GTPase, Rab5c, in infected HeLa cells overexpressing Rab5c. Both pathogens formed phagosomes in HeLa cells with molecular characteristics similar to their phagosomes in human macrophages and multiplied in these host cells. Phagosomes containing virulent wild-type L. pneumophila never acquired immunogold staining for Rab5c, whereas phagosomes containing an avirulent mutant L. pneumophila (which ultimately fused with lysosomes) transiently acquired staining for Rab5c after phagocytosis. In contrast, M. tuberculosis phagosomes exhibited abundant staining for Rab5c throughout its life cycle. To verify that the overexpressed, recombinant Rab5c observed on the bacterial phagosomes was biologically active, we examined the phagosomes in HeLa cells expressing Rab5c Q79L, a fusion-promoting mutant. Such HeLa cells formed giant vacuoles, and after incubation with various particles, the giant vacuoles acquired large numbers of latex beads, M. tuberculosis, and avirulent L. pneumophila but not wild-type L. pneumophila, which consistently remained in tight phagosomes that did not fuse with the giant vacuoles. These results indicate that whereas Rab5 is absent from wild-type L. pneumophila phagosomes, functional Rab5 persists on M. tuberculosis phagosomes. The absence of Rab5 on the L. pneumophila phagosome may underlie its lack of interaction with endocytic compartments. The persistence of functional Rab5 on the M. tuberculosis phagosomes may enable the phagosome to retard its own maturation at an early endosomal stage.
Legionella pneumophila, a parasite of aquatic amoebae and pathogen of pulmonary macrophages, replicates intracellularly, utilizing a type IV secretion system to subvert the trafficking of Legionella-containing phagosomes. Defense against host-derived reactive oxygen species has been proposed as critical for intracellular replication. Virulence traits of null mutants in katA and katB, encoding the two Legionella catalase-peroxidases, were analyzed to evaluate the hypothesis that L. pneumophila must decompose hydrogen peroxide to establish a replication niche in macrophages. Phagosomes containing katA or katB mutant Legionella colocalize with LAMP-1, a late endosomal-lysosomal marker, at twice the frequency of those of wild-type strain JR32 and show a decreased frequency of bacterial replication, in similarity to phenotypes of mutants with mutations in dotA and dotB, encoding components of the Type IV secretion system. Quantitative similarity of the katA/B phenotypes indicates that each contributes to virulence traits largely independently of intracellular compartmentalization (KatA in the periplasm and KatB in the cytosol). These data support a model in which KatA and KatB maintain a critically low level of H2O2 compatible with proper phagosome trafficking mediated by the type IV secretion apparatus. During these studies, we observed that dotA and dotB mutations in wild-type strain Lp02 had no effect on intracellular multiplication in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii, indicating that certain dotA/B functions in Lp02 are dispensable in that experimental model. We also observed that wild-type JR32, unlike Lp02, shows minimal contact-dependent cytotoxicity, suggesting that cytotoxicity of JR32 is not a prerequisite for formation of replication-competent Legionella phagosomes in macrophages.
Intracellular pathogens subvert the host cell cytoskeleton to promote their own survival, replication, and dissemination. Study of these microbes has led to many discoveries about host cell biology, including the identification of cytoskeletal proteins, regulatory pathways, and mechanisms of cytoskeletal function. Actin is a common target of bacterial pathogens, but recent work also highlights the use of microtubules, cytoskeletal motors, intermediate filaments, and septins. The study of pathogen interactions with the cytoskeleton has illuminated key cellular processes such as phagocytosis, macropinocytosis, membrane trafficking, motility, autophagy, and signal transduction.
Phagosomal biogenesis is a fundamental biological process of particular significance for the function of phagocytic and antigen-presenting cells. The precise mechanisms governing maturation of phagosomes into phagolysosomes are not completely understood. Here, we applied the property of pathogenic mycobacteria to cause phagosome maturation arrest in infected macrophages as a tool to dissect critical steps in phagosomal biogenesis. We report the requirement for 3-phosphoinositides and acquisition of Rab5 effector early endosome autoantigen (EEA1) as essential molecular events necessary for phagosomal maturation. Unlike the model phagosomes containing latex beads, which transiently recruited EEA1, mycobacterial phagosomes excluded this regulator of vesicular trafficking that controls membrane tethering and fusion processes within the endosomal pathway and is recruited to endosomal membranes via binding to phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdInsP). Inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3′(OH)-kinase (PI-3K) activity diminished EEA1 recruitment to newly formed latex bead phagosomes and blocked phagosomal acquisition of late endocytic properties, indicating that generation of PtdIns(3)P plays a role in phagosomal maturation. Microinjection into macrophages of antibodies against EEA1 and the PI-3K hVPS34 reduced acquisition of late endocytic markers by latex bead phagosomes, demonstrating an essential role of these Rab5 effectors in phagosomal biogenesis. The mechanism of EEA1 exclusion from mycobacterial phagosomes was investigated using mycobacterial products. Coating of latex beads with the major mycobacterial cell envelope glycosylated phosphatidylinositol lipoarabinomannan isolated from the virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv, inhibited recruitment of EEA1 to latex bead phagosomes, and diminished their maturation. These findings define the generation of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate and EEA1 recruitment as: (a) important regulatory events in phagosomal maturation and (b) critical molecular targets affected by M. tuberculosis. This study also identifies mycobacterial phosphoinositides as products with specialized toxic properties, interfering with discrete trafficking stages in phagosomal maturation.
EEA1; endosome; hVPS34; LBPA; LAM
Legionella pneumophila is an environmental micro-organism capable of producing an acute lobar pneumonia, commonly referred to as Legionnaires’ disease, in susceptible humans. Legionellae are ubiquitous in aquatic environments, where they survive in biofilms or intracellularly in various protozoans. Susceptible humans become infected by breathing aerosols laden with the bacteria. The target cell for human infection is the alveolar macrophage, in which the bacteria abrogate phagolysosomal fusion. The remarkable ability of L pneumophila to infect a wide range of eukaryotic cells suggests a common strategy that exploits very fundamental cellular processes. The bacteria enter host cells via coiling phagocytosis and quickly subvert organelle trafficking events, leading to formation of a replicative phagosome in which the bacteria multiply. Vegetative growth continues for 8 to 10 h, after which the bacteria develop into a short, highly motile form called the ‘mature form’. The mature form exhibits a thickening of the cell wall, stains red with the Gimenez stain, and is between 10 and 100 times more infectious than agar-grown bacteria. Following host cell lysis, the released bacteria infect other host cells, in which the mature form differentiates into a Gimenez-negative vegetative form, and the cycle begins anew. Virulence of L pneumophila is considered to be multifactorial, and there is growing evidence for both stage specific and sequential gene expression. Thus, L pneumophila may be a good model system for dissecting events associated with the host-parasite interactions.
Intracellular parasites; Legionella pneumophila; Organelle trafficking; Pathogenesis; Stress proteins
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a facultative intracellular pathogen that parasitizes macrophages by modulating properties of the Mycobacterium-containing phagosome. Mycobacterial phagosomes do not fuse with late endosomal/lysosomal organelles but retain access to early endosomal contents by an unknown mechanism. We have previously reported that mycobacterial phosphatidylinositol analog lipoarabinomannan (LAM) blocks a trans-Golgi network-to-phagosome phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent pathway. In this work, we extend our investigations of the effects of mycobacterial phosphoinositides on host membrane trafficking. We present data demonstrating that phosphatidylinositol mannoside (PIM) specifically stimulated homotypic fusion of early endosomes in an ATP-, cytosol-, and N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor-dependent manner. The fusion showed absolute requirement for small Rab GTPases, and the stimulatory effect of PIM increased upon partial depletion of membrane Rabs with RabGDI. We found that stimulation of early endosomal fusion by PIM was higher when phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase was inhibited by wortmannin. PIM also stimulated in vitro fusion between model phagosomes and early endosomes. Finally, PIM displayed in vivo effects in macrophages by increasing accumulation of plasma membrane-endosomal syntaxin 4 and transferrin receptor on PIM-coated latex bead phagosomes. In addition, inhibition of phagosomal acidification was detected with PIM-coated beads. The effects of PIM, along with the previously reported action of LAM, suggest that M. tuberculosis has evolved a two-prong strategy to modify its intracellular niche: its products block acquisition of late endosomal/lysosomal constituents, while facilitating fusion with early endosomal compartments.
Different classes of endosomes exhibit a characteristic intracellular steady-state distribution governed by interactions with the cytoskeleton. Late endosomes, organelles of the degradative lysosomal route, seem to require associated actin filaments for proper localization and function. We show here that the F-actin and phospholipid binding protein annexin A8 is associated specifically with late endosomes. Altering intracellular annexin A8 levels drastically affected the morphology and intracellular distribution of late endosomes. Trafficking through the degradative pathway was delayed in the absence of annexin A8, resulting in attenuated ligand-induced degradation of the epidermal growth factor receptor and prolonged epidermal growth factor-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase. Depletion of annexin A8 reduced the association of late endosomal membranes with actin filaments. These results indicate that the defective cargo transport through the late endocytic pathway and the imbalanced signaling of activated receptors observed in the absence of annexin A8 results from the disturbed association of late endosomal membranes with the actin network, resulting in impaired actin-based late endosome motility.
During infection, the intracellular pathogenic bacterium Legionella pneumophila causes an extensive remodeling of host membrane trafficking pathways, both in the construction of a replication-competent vacuole comprised of ER-derived vesicles and plasma membrane components, and in the inhibition of normal phagosome:endosome/lysosome fusion pathways. Here, we identify the LegC3 secreted effector protein from L. pneumophila as able to inhibit a SNARE- and Rab GTPase-dependent membrane fusion pathway in vitro, the homotypic fusion of yeast vacuoles (lysosomes). This vacuole fusion inhibition appeared to be specific, as similar secreted coiled-coiled domain containing proteins from L. pneumophila, LegC7/YlfA and LegC2/YlfB, did not inhibit vacuole fusion. The LegC3-mediated fusion inhibition was reversible by a yeast cytosolic extract, as well as by a purified soluble SNARE, Vam7p. LegC3 blocked the formation of trans-SNARE complexes during vacuole fusion, although we did not detect a direct interaction of LegC3 with the vacuolar SNARE protein complexes required for fusion. Additionally, LegC3 was incapable of inhibiting a defined synthetic model of vacuolar SNARE-driven membrane fusion, further suggesting that LegC3 does not directly inhibit the activity of vacuolar SNAREs, HOPS complex, or Sec17p/18p during membrane fusion. LegC3 is likely utilized by Legionella to modulate eukaryotic membrane fusion events during pathogenesis.
Biogenesis of a specialized organelle that supports intracellular replication of Legionella pneumophila involves the fusion of secretory vesicles exiting the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) with phagosomes containing this bacterial pathogen. Here, we investigated host plasma membrane SNARE proteins to determine whether they play a role in trafficking of vacuoles containing L. pneumophila. Depletion of plasma membrane syntaxins by RNA interference resulted in delayed acquisition of the resident ER protein calnexin and enhanced retention of Rab1 on phagosomes containing virulent L. pneumophila, suggesting that these SNARE proteins are involved in vacuole biogenesis. Plasma membrane-localized SNARE proteins syntaxin 2, syntaxin 3, syntaxin4 and SNAP23 localized to vacuoles containing L. pneumophila. The ER-localized SNARE protein Sec22b was found to interact with plasma membrane SNAREs on vacuoles containing virulent L. pneumophila, but not on vacuoles containing avirulent mutants of L. pneumophila. The addition of α-SNAP and N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) to the plasma membrane SNARE complexes formed by virulent L. pneumophila resulted in the dissociation of Sec22b, indicating functional pairing between these SNAREs. Thus, L. pneumophila stimulates the non-canonical pairing of plasma membrane t-SNAREs with the v-SNARE Sec22b to promote fusion of the phagosome with ER-derived vesicles. The mechanism by which L. pneumophila promotes pairing of plasma membrane syntaxins and Sec22b could provide unique insight into how the secretory vesicles could provide an additional membrane reserve subverted during phagosome maturation.
endoplasmic reticulum; Dot/Icm system; Legionella pneumophila; membrane fusion; Sec22b; SNARE; syntaxin; vacuole
The facultative intracellular pathogen Legionella pneumophila replicates in free-living amoebae and macrophages within a distinct compartment, the “Legionella-containing vacuole” (LCV). LCV formation involves phosphoinositide (PI) glycerolipids, which are key factors controlling vesicle trafficking pathways and membrane dynamics of eukaryotic cells. To govern the interactions with host cells, L. pneumophila employs the Icm/Dot type IV secretion system and more than 250 translocated “effector proteins” that presumably subvert host signaling and vesicle trafficking pathways. Some of the effector proteins anchor through distinct PIs to the cytosolic face of LCVs and promote the interaction with host vesicles and organelles, catalyze guanine nucleotide exchange of small GTPases, or bind to PI-metabolizing enzymes, such as OCRL1. The PI 5-phosphatase OCRL1 and its Dictyostelium homologue Dd5P4 restrict intracellular growth of L. pneumophila. Moreover, OCRL1/Dd5P4, PI 3-kinases (PI3Ks), and PI4KIIIβ regulate LCV formation and localization of the effector protein SidC, which selectively decorates the LCV membrane. SidC and its 20-kDa “P4C” fragment are robust and specific probes for phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate, and SidC can be targeted to purify intact LCVs by immuno-magnetic separation. Taken together, bacterial PI-binding effectors as well as host PIs and PI-modulating enzymes play a pivotal role for intracellular replication of L. pneumophila, and the PI-binding effectors are valuable tools for the analysis of eukaryotic PI lipids.
amoeba; Dictyostelium; Legionella; macrophage; phosphoinositides; pathogen vacuole; type IV secretion
Summary: Intracellular bacterial pathogens have evolved highly specialized mechanisms to enter and survive within their eukaryotic hosts. In order to do this, bacterial pathogens need to avoid host cell degradation and obtain nutrients and biosynthetic precursors, as well as evade detection by the host immune system. To create an intracellular niche that is favorable for replication, some intracellular pathogens inhibit the maturation of the phagosome or exit the endocytic pathway by modifying the identity of their phagosome through the exploitation of host cell trafficking pathways. In eukaryotic cells, organelle identity is determined, in part, by the composition of active Rab GTPases on the membranes of each organelle. This review describes our current understanding of how selected bacterial pathogens regulate host trafficking pathways by the selective inclusion or retention of Rab GTPases on membranes of the vacuoles that they occupy in host cells during infection.
After phagocytosis, the intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis arrests the progression of the nascent phagosome into a phagolysosome, allowing for replication in a compartment that resembles early endosomes. To better understand the molecular mechanisms that govern phagosome maturation arrest, we performed a visual screen on a set of M. tuberculosis mutants specifically attenuated for growth in mice to identify strains that failed to arrest phagosome maturation and trafficked to late phagosomal compartments. We identified 10 such mutants that could be partitioned into two classes based on the kinetics of trafficking. Importantly, four of these mutants harbor mutations in genes that encode components of the ESX-1 secretion system, a pathway critical for M. tuberculosis virulence. Although ESX-1 is required, the known ESX-1 secreted proteins are dispensable for phagosome maturation arrest, suggesting that a novel effector required for phagosome maturation arrest is secreted by ESX-1. Other mutants identified in this screen had mutations in genes involved in lipid synthesis and secretion and in molybdopterin biosynthesis, as well as in genes with unknown functions. Most of these trafficking mutants exhibited a corresponding growth defect during macrophage infection, but two mutants grew like wild-type M. tuberculosis during macrophage infection. Our results support the emerging consensus that multiple factors from M. tuberculosis, including the ESX-1 secretion system, are involved in modulating trafficking within the host.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a facultative intracellular pathogen that parasitizes host macrophages where it persists in immature phagosomes by avoiding their maturation into phagolysosomes. The mechanisms of how M. tuberculosis inhibits phagolysosome biogenesis have been researched in detail and the maturation block at least partially depends on the manipulation of host phosphoinositide interconversions, with phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI3P) being a central target since it has been shown to be required for phagolysosome biogenesis. PI3P earmarks intracellular organelles for binding and assembly of effector molecules that interact with PI3P or its derivatives, including Class E Vps proteins such as Hrs and ESCRT components, early endosome antigen 1, which are required for sequential protein and membrane sorting within the endosomal and, by extension, phagosomal systems. In a search of a cellular mechanism that can bypass the tubercule bacillus-imposed PI3P block, researchers have uncovered a new general bactericidal process, autophagy, which can eliminate intracellular pathogens. This is a new, rapidly growing field replete with possibilities for novel, previously untried immunologic and pharmacologic interventions applicable not only to TB but to other stubborn bacterial, parasitic and viral diseases.
autophagy; macrophage; phagosome; phosphoinositide; Rab; tuberculosis
Legionella pneumophila is an intracellular pathogen that modulates the biogenesis of its phagosome to evade endocytic vesicle traffic. The Legionella-containing phagosome (LCP) does not acquire any endocytic markers and is remodeled by the endoplasmic reticulum during early stages. Here we show that intracellular replication of L. pneumophila is inhibited in gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-activated, bone marrow-derived mouse macrophages and IFN-γ-activated, human monocyte-derived macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. This inhibition of intracellular replication is associated with the maturation of the LCP into a phagolysosome, as documented by the acquisition of LAMP-2, cathepsin D, and lysosomal tracer Texas Red ovalbumin, and with the failure of the LCP to be remodeled by the rough endoplasmic reticulum. We conclude that IFN-γ-activated macrophages override the ability of L. pneumophila to evade endocytic fusion and that the LCP is processed through the “default” endosomal-lysosomal degradation pathway.
Chlamydia trachomatis are obligate intracellular bacteria that survive and replicate in a bacterial-modified phagosome called inclusion. As other intracellular parasites, these bacteria subvert the phagocytic pathway to avoid degradation in phagolysosomes and exploit trafficking pathways to acquire both energy and nutrients essential for their survival. Rabs are host proteins that control intracellular vesicular trafficking. Rab14, a Golgi-related Rab, controls Golgi to endosomes transport. Since Chlamydia establish a close relationship with the Golgi apparatus, the recruitment and participation of Rab14 on inclusion development and bacteria growth were analyzed. Time course analysis revealed that Rab14 associated with inclusions by 10 h post infection and was maintained throughout the entire developmental cycle. The recruitment was bacterial protein synthesis-dependent but independent of microtubules and Golgi integrity. Overexpression of Rab14 dominant negative mutants delayed inclusion enlargement, and impaired bacteria replication as determined by IFU. Silencing of Rab14 by siRNA also decreased bacteria multiplication and infectivity. By electron microscopy, aberrant bacteria were observed in cells overexpressing the cytosolic negative Rab14 mutant. Our results showed that Rab14 facilitates the delivery of sphingolipids required for bacterial development and replication from the Golgi to chlamydial inclusions. Novel anti-chlamydial therapies could be developed based on the knowledge of how bacteria subvert host vesicular transport events through Rabs manipulation.
When purified phagosomes are incubated in the presence of actin under appropriate conditions, microfilaments start growing from the membrane in a process that is affected by ATP and the lipid composition of the membrane. Isolated phagosomes are metabolically active organelles that contain enzymes and metabolites necessary for lipid interconversion. Hence, addition of ATP, lipids, and actin to the system alter the steady-state composition of the phagosomal membrane at the same time that the actin nucleation is initiated. Our aim was to model all these processes in parallel.
We compiled detailed experimental data on the effects of different lipids and ATP on actin nucleation and we investigated experimentally lipid interconversion and ATP metabolism in phagosomes by using suitable radioactive compounds.
In a first step, a complex lipid network interconnected by chemical reactions catalyzed by known enzymes was modelled in COPASI (Complex Pathway Simulator). However, several lines of experimental evidence indicated that only the phosphatidylinositol branch of the network was active, an observation that dramatically reduced the number of parameters in the model. The results also indicated that a lipid network-independent ATP-consuming activity should be included in the model. When this activity was introduced, the set of differential equations satisfactorily reproduced the experimental data. On the other hand, a molecular mechanism connecting membrane lipids, ATP, and the actin nucleation process is still missing. We therefore adopted a phenomenological (black-box) approach to represent the empirical observations. We proposed that lipids and ATP influence the dynamic interconversion between active and inactive actin nucleation sites. With this simple model, all the experimental data were satisfactorily fitted with a single positive parameter per lipid and ATP.
By establishing an active 'dialogue' between an initial complex model and experimental observations, we could narrow the set of differential equations and parameters required to characterize the time-dependent changes of metabolites influencing actin nucleation on phagosomes. For this, the global model was dissected into three sub-models: ATP consumption, lipid interconversion, and nucleation of actin on phagosomal membranes. This scheme allowed us to describe this complex system with a relatively small set of differential equations and kinetic parameters that satisfactorily reproduced the experimental data.
Summary: The genus Legionella contains more than 50 species, of which at least 24 have been associated with human infection. The best-characterized member of the genus, Legionella pneumophila, is the major causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of acute pneumonia. L. pneumophila is an intracellular pathogen, and as part of its pathogenesis, the bacteria avoid phagolysosome fusion and replicate within alveolar macrophages and epithelial cells in a vacuole that exhibits many characteristics of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The formation of the unusual L. pneumophila vacuole is a feature of its interaction with the host, yet the mechanisms by which the bacteria avoid classical endosome fusion and recruit markers of the ER are incompletely understood. Here we review the factors that contribute to the ability of L. pneumophila to infect and replicate in human cells and amoebae with an emphasis on proteins that are secreted by the bacteria into the Legionella vacuole and/or the host cell. Many of these factors undermine eukaryotic trafficking and signaling pathways by acting as functional and, in some cases, structural mimics of eukaryotic proteins. We discuss the consequences of this mimicry for the biology of the infected cell and also for immune responses to L. pneumophila infection.
Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent airborne fungal pathogen responsible for fatal invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. Upon arrival in the lung alveolus, conidia of A. fumigatus are phagocytosed by alveolar macrophages, the major phagocytic cells of the lung. Engulfment and intracellular trafficking of A. fumigatus conidia in alveolar macrophages of two different origins, the murine cell line MH-S and human pulmonary alveolar macrophages, were analyzed by electron microscopy and immunofluorescence. Phagocytosis of A. fumigatus conidia required actin polymerization and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity. Fusion of A. fumigatus phagosomes with early and late endosomes was shown by immunolabeling with specific markers for the transferrin receptor, early endosome antigen, and Rab7. Maturation of A. fumigatus phagolysosomes was monitored by using a fixable acidotropic probe, LysoTracker Red DND-99, and an anti-cathepsin D antibody. Bafilomycin A-induced inhibition of lysosomal acidification abolished the conidial killing by the macrophages. These data suggest that the maturation of A. fumigatus phagosomes results from fusion with the compartments of the endocytic pathway and that the killing of conidia depends on phagolysosome acidification. A model for the phagocytosis of A. fumigatus conidia by alveolar macrophages is proposed on the basis of these results.
The ability to exit host cells at the end of their developmental growth is a critical step for the intracellular bacterium Chlamydia. One exit strategy, extrusion, is mediated by host signaling pathways involved with actin polymerization. Here, we show that actin is recruited to the chlamydial inclusion as a late event, occurring after 20 hours post-infection (hpi) and only within a subpopulation of cells. This event increases significantly in prevalence and extent from 20 to 68 hpi, and actin coats strongly correlated with extrusions. In contrast to what has been reported for other intracellular pathogens, actin nucleation on Chlamydia inclusions did not ‘flash’, but rather exhibited moderate depolymerization dynamics. By using small molecule agents to selectively disrupt host signaling pathways involved with actin nucleation, modulate actin polymerization dynamics and also to disable the synthesis and secretion of chlamydial proteins, we further show that host and bacterial proteins are required for actin coat formation. Transient disruption of either host or bacterial signaling pathways resulted in rapid loss of coats in all infected cells and a reduction in extrusion formation. Inhibition of Chlamydia type III secretion also resulted in rapid loss of actin association on inclusions, thus implicating chlamydial effector proteins(s) as being central factors for engaging with host actin nucleating factors, such as formins. In conclusion, our data illuminate the host and bacterial driven process by which a dense actin matrix is dynamically nucleated and maintained on the Chlamydia inclusion. This late stage event is not ubiquitous for all infected cells in a population, and escalates in prevalence and extent throughout the developmental cycle of Chlamydia, culminating with their exit from the host cell by extrusion. The initiation of actin recruitment by Chlamydia appears to be novel, and may serve as an upstream determinant of the extrusion mechanism.
Legionella pneumophila is a facultative intracellular pathogen capable of replicating in a wide spectrum of cells. Successful infection by Legionella requires the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system, which translocates a large number of effector proteins into infected cells. By co-opting numerous host cellular processes, these proteins function to establish a specialized organelle that allows bacterial survival and proliferation. Even within the vacuole, L. pneumophila triggers robust immune responses. Recent studies reveal that a subset of Legionella effectors directly target some basic components of the host innate immunity systems such as phagosome maturation. Others play essential roles in engaging the host innate immune surveillance system. This review will highlight recent progress in our understanding of these interactions and discuss implications for the study of the immune detection mechanisms.
Type IV secretion; phagosome maturation; NFκB; Interferon Induction
Plants are constantly exposed to a large and diverse array of microbes; however, most plants are immune to the majority of potential invaders and susceptible to only a small subset of pathogens. The cytoskeleton comprises a dynamic intracellular framework that responds rapidly to biotic stresses and supports numerous fundamental cellular processes including vesicle trafficking, endocytosis and the spatial distribution of organelles and protein complexes. For years, the actin cytoskeleton has been assumed to play a role in plant innate immunity against fungi and oomycetes, based largely on static images and pharmacological studies. To date, however, there is little evidence that the host-cell actin cytoskeleton participates in responses to phytopathogenic bacteria. Here, we quantified the spatiotemporal changes in host-cell cytoskeletal architecture during the immune response to pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. Two distinct changes to host cytoskeletal arrays were observed that correspond to distinct phases of plant-bacterial interactions i.e. the perception of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) during pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) and perturbations by effector proteins during effector-triggered susceptibility (ETS). We demonstrate that an immediate increase in actin filament abundance is a conserved and novel component of PTI. Notably, treatment of leaves with a MAMP peptide mimic was sufficient to elicit a rapid change in actin organization in epidermal cells, and this actin response required the host-cell MAMP receptor kinase complex, including FLS2, BAK1 and BIK1. Finally, we found that actin polymerization is necessary for the increase in actin filament density and that blocking this increase with the actin-disrupting drug latrunculin B leads to enhanced susceptibility of host plants to pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria.
The cytoskeleton is a dynamic platform for sensing and responding to a diverse array of biotic and abiotic stresses. The nature and timing of the changes in actin organization range from excessive bundling, to massive depolymerization, to new filament assembly, depending on the particular signal and the responding cell type. Here, we use the Arabidopsis–Pseudomonas pathosystem to dissect pathogen-derived cues that elicit changes in the plant host-cell cytoskeleton. Overall, we provide the first evidence that the actin cytoskeleton rearranges in response to a phytopathogenic bacterium and we quantified the temporal response of epidermal cells to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 strains and susceptible Arabidopsis mutants, using a robust set of tools for measuring changes in actin organization. An immediate but transient increase in actin filament abundance was associated with pattern-triggered immunity. This response could be mimicked with microbe-associated molecular pattern peptide treatments. Second, we observed a late increase in actin filament bundling that appears to be part of effector-triggered susceptibility. We dissected the initial steps involved in the host-cell signaling pathway and demonstrated that FLS2, BAK1, and BIK1 were required for the actin response. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that rapid changes in host-cell cytoskeleton organization occur in response to receptor-mediated signaling during plant innate immunity.
The Legionnaires' disease bacterium, Legionella pneumophila, is an intracellular pathogen of humans that is amplified in the environment by intracellular multiplication within protozoa. Within both evolutionarily distant hosts, the bacterium multiplies in a rough endoplasmic reticulum-surrounded phagosome that is retarded from maturation through the endosomal-lysosomal degradation pathway. To gain an understanding of the mechanisms utilized by L. pneumophila to invade and replicate within two evolutionarily distant hosts, we isolated a collection of 89 mini-Tn10::kan insertion mutants that exhibited defects in cytotoxicity, intracellular survival, and replication within both U937 macrophage-like cells and Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Interestingly, the patterns of defects in intracellular survival and replication of the mutants within both host cells were highly similar, and thus we designated the defective loci in these mutants pmi (for protozoan and macrophage infectivity loci). On the basis of their ability to attach to host cells and their growth kinetics during the intracellular infection, the mutants were grouped into five groups. Groups 1 and 2 included 41 mutants that were severely defective in intracellular survival and were completely or substantially killed during the first 4 h of infection in both host cells. Three members of group 1 were severely defective in attachment to both U937 cells and A. polyphaga, and another four mutants of group 1 exhibited severe defects in attachment to A. polyphaga but only a mild reduction in their attachment to U937 cells. Four members of groups 1 and 2 were serum sensitive. Intracellular replication of mutants of the other three groups was less defective than that of mutants of groups 1 and 2, and their growth kinetics within both host cells were similar. The mutants were tested for several other phenotypes in vitro, revealing that 14 of the pmi mutants were resistant to NaCl, 3 had insertions in dot or icm, 3 were aflagellar, 12 were highly intolerant to a hyperosmotic medium, and one failed to grow in a minimal medium. Our data indicated that similar mechanisms are utilized by L. pneumophila to replicate within two evolutionarily distant hosts. Although some mechanisms of attachment to both host cells were similar, other distinct mechanisms were utilized by L. pneumophila to attach to A. polyphaga. Our data supported the hypothesis that preadaptation of L. pneumophila to infection of protozoa may play a major role in its ability to replicate within mammalian cells and cause Legionnaires' disease.
Infection of host cells by pathogenic microbes triggers signal transduction pathways leading to a multitude of host cell responses including actin cytoskeletal re-arrangements and transcriptional programs. The diarrheagenic pathogens Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) and the related Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) subvert the host-cell actin cytoskeleton to form attaching and effacing lesions on the surface of intestinal epithelial cells by injecting effector proteins via a type III secretion system. Here we use a MAL translocation assay to establish the effect of bacterial pathogens on host cell signaling to transcription factor activation. MAL is a cofactor of Serum response factor (SRF), a transcription factor with important roles in the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. We show that EPEC induces nuclear accumulation of MAL-GFP. The translocated intimin receptor is essential for this process and phosphorylation of Tyrosine residues 454 and 474 is important. Using an expression screen we identify FLRT3, C22orf28 and TESK1 as novel activators of SRF. Importantly we demonstrate that ABRA (actin-binding Rho-activating protein, also known as STARS) is necessary for EPEC-induced nuclear accumulation of MAL and the novel SRF activator FLRT3, is a component of this pathway. We further demonstrate that ABRA is important for structural maintenance of EPEC pedestals. Our results uncover novel components in pathogen-activated cytoskeleton signalling to MAL activation.
Many significant immune diseases are caused by bacterial pathogens that deliver effector proteins into their host. The pathogen uses these proteins to subvert the hosts' normal cytosolic defense in a way that services the pathogen. It is therefore important to understand the normal processes of a cell and how they are affected by bacterial infection. We have established the effect of bacteria on host cell signalling to the transcription factor serum response factor. Serum response factor is a widely expressed transcription factor that controls the expression of many important genes. We show that Enteropathogenic E. coli infection can activate serum response factor and that the effector protein Tir is essential for this activation. Furthermore, we identify new genes that are important in this infection-induced activation and show that they are important in maintaining structures necessary for Enteropathogenic E. coli infection.
The intracellular bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila subverts host membrane transport pathways to promote fusion of vesicles exiting the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) with the pathogen-containing vacuole. During infection there is non-canonical pairing of the SNARE protein Sec22b on ER-derived vesicles with plasma membrane (PM)-localized syntaxin proteins on the vacuole. We show that the L. pneumophila Rab1-targeting effector DrrA is sufficient to stimulate this non-canonical SNARE association and promote membrane fusion. DrrA activation of the Rab1 GTPase on PM-derived organelles stimulated the tethering of ER-derived vesicles with the PM-derived organelle resulting in vesicle fusion through the pairing of Sec22b with the PM syntaxin proteins. Thus, the effector protein DrrA stimulates a host membrane transport pathway that enables ER-derived vesicles to remodel a PM-derived organelle, suggesting that Rab1 activation at the PM is sufficient to promote the recruitment and fusion of ER-derived vesicles.
Legionella pneumophila; Dot/Icm; DrrA/SidM; SNARE; membrane fusion; syntaxin; Sec22b; plasma membrane and ER-derived vesicle