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Cell Microbiol. 2009 Feb;11(2):261-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2008.01251.x. Epub 2008 Nov 4.

Modulation of ubiquitin dynamics and suppression of DALIS formation by the Legionella pneumophila Dot/Icm system.

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Section of Microbial Pathogenesis, Yale University School of Medicine, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, New Haven, CT 06536, USA.


Legionella pneumophila is an intracellular pathogen that uses effector proteins translocated by the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system to modulate host cellular processes. Here we investigate the dynamics of subcellular structures containing ubiquitin during L. pneumophila infection of phagocytic host cells. The Dot/Icm system mediated the formation of K48 and K63 poly-ubiquitin conjugates to proteins associated with L. pneumophila-containing vacuoles in macrophages and dendritic cells, suggesting that regulatory events and degradative events involving ubiquitin are regulated by bacterial effectors during infection. Stimulation of TLR2 on the surface of macrophages and dendritic cells by L. pneumophila-derived molecules resulted in the production of ubiquitin-rich dendritic cell aggresome-like structures (DALIS). Cells infected by L. pneumophila with a functional Dot/Icm system, however, failed to produce DALIS. Suppression of DALIS formation did not affect the accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins on vacuoles containing L. pneumophila. Examining other species of Legionella revealed that Legionella jordanis was unable to suppress DALIS formation after creating a ubiquitin-decorated vacuole. Thus, the L. pneumophila Dot/Icm system has the ability to modulate host processes to promote K48 and K63 ubiquitin conjugates on proteins at the vacuole membrane, and independently suppress cellular events required for the formation of DALIS.

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