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1.  Autophagy stimulation by rapamycin suppresses lung inflammation and infection by Burkholderia cenocepacia in a model of cystic fibrosis 
Autophagy  2011;7(11):1359-1370.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common inherited lethal disease in Caucasians which results in multiorgan dysfunction. However, 85% of the deaths are due to pulmonary infections. Infection by Burkholderia cenocepacia (B. cepacia) is a particularly lethal threat to CF patients because it causes severe and persistent lung inflammation and is resistant to nearly all available antibiotics. In CFTR ΔF508 (ΔF508) mouse macrophages, B. cepacia persists in vacuoles that do not fuse with the lysosomes and mediates increased production of IL-1β. It is believed that intracellular bacterial survival contributes to the persistence of the bacterium. Here we show for the first time that in wild-type but not in ΔF508 macrophages, many B. cepacia reside in autophagosomes that fuse with lysosomes at later stages of infection. Accordingly, association and intracellular survival of B. cepacia are higher in CFTR-ΔF508 macrophages than in WT macrophages. An autophagosome is a compartment that engulfs nonfunctional organelles and parts of the cytoplasm then delivers them to the lysosome for degradation to produce nutrients during periods of starvation or stress. Furthermore, we show that B. cepacia downregulates autophagy genes in WT and ΔF508 macrophages. However, autophagy dysfunction is more pronounced in ΔF508 macrophages since they already have compromised autophagy activity. We demonstrate that the autophagystimulating agent, rapamycin markedly decreases B. cepacia infection in vitro by enhancing the clearance of B. cepacia via induced autophagy. In vivo, rapamycin decreases bacterial burden in the lungs of CF mice and drastically reduces signs of lung inflammation. Together, our studies reveal that if efficiently activated, autophagy can control B. cepacia infection and ameliorate the associated inflammation. Therefore, autophagy is a novel target for new drug development for CF patients to control B. cepacia infection and accompanying inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3359483  PMID: 21997369
autophagy; rapamycin; cystic fibrosis; host-pathogen interaction; Burkholderia cenocepacia; inflammation; macrophages
2.  Burkholderia cenocepacia Type VI Secretion System Mediates Escape of Type II Secreted Proteins into the Cytoplasm of Infected Macrophages 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41726.
Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic pathogen that survives intracellularly in macrophages and causes serious respiratory infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. We have previously shown that bacterial survival occurs in bacteria-containing membrane vacuoles (BcCVs) resembling arrested autophagosomes. Intracellular bacteria stimulate IL-1β secretion in a caspase-1-dependent manner and induce dramatic changes to the actin cytoskeleton and the assembly of the NADPH oxidase complex onto the BcCV membrane. A Type 6 secretion system (T6SS) is required for these phenotypes but surprisingly it is not required for the maturation arrest of the BcCV. Here, we show that macrophages infected with B. cenocepacia employ the NLRP3 inflammasome to induce IL-1β secretion and pyroptosis. Moreover, IL-1β secretion by B. cenocepacia-infected macrophages is suppressed in deletion mutants unable to produce functional Type VI, Type IV, and Type 2 secretion systems (SS). We provide evidence that the T6SS mediates the disruption of the BcCV membrane, which allows the escape of proteins secreted by the T2SS into the macrophage cytoplasm. This was demonstrated by the activity of fusion derivatives of the T2SS-secreted metalloproteases ZmpA and ZmpB with adenylcyclase. Supporting this notion, ZmpA and ZmpB are required for efficient IL-1β secretion in a T6SS dependent manner. ZmpA and ZmpB are also required for the maturation arrest of the BcCVs and bacterial intra-macrophage survival in a T6SS-independent fashion. Our results uncover a novel mechanism for inflammasome activation that involves cooperation between two bacterial secretory pathways, and an unanticipated role for T2SS-secreted proteins in intracellular bacterial survival.
PMCID: PMC3405007  PMID: 22848580
3.  Survival of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium within Late Endosomal-Lysosomal Compartments of B Lymphocytes Is Associated with the Inability To Use the Vacuolar Alternative Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Antigen-Processing Pathway  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(7):3937-3944.
Gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-activated macrophages use an alternative processing mechanism to present Salmonella antigens to CD8+ T lymphocytes. This pathway involves processing of antigen in a vacuolar compartment followed by secretion and loading of antigenic peptides to major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecules on macrophage cell surface and bystander cells. In this study, we have shown that B lymphocytes are not able to process Salmonella antigens using this alternative pathway. This is due to differences in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium-containing vacuoles (SCV) when comparing late endosomal-lysosomal processing compartments in B lymphocytes to those in macrophages. The IFN-γ-activated IC21 macrophage cell line and A-20 B-cell line were infected with live or dead Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. The SCV in B cells were in a late endosomal-lysosomal compartment, whereas SCV in macrophages were remodeled to a noncharacteristic late endosomal-lysosomal compartment over time. Despite the difference in SCV within macrophages and B lymphocytes, S. enterica serovar Typhimurium survives more efficiently within the IFN-γ-activated B cells than in activated macrophage cell lines. Similar results were found during in vivo acute infection. We determined that a lack of remodeling of late endosomal-lysosomal compartments by live Salmonella infection in B lymphocytes is associated with the inability to use the alternative MHC-I antigen-processing pathway, providing a survival advantage to the bacterium. Our data also suggest that the B lymphocyte late endosome-lysosome environment allows the expression of Salmonella virulence mechanisms favoring B lymphocytes in addition to macrophages and dendritic cells as a reservoir during in vivo infection.
PMCID: PMC1168566  PMID: 15972480

Results 1-3 (3)