Send to

Choose Destination
mBio. 2011 Jan 11;2(1):e00316-10. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00316-10.

Cyclic diguanylate signaling proteins control intracellular growth of Legionella pneumophila.

Author information

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.


Proteins that metabolize or bind the nucleotide second messenger cyclic diguanylate regulate a wide variety of important processes in bacteria. These processes include motility, biofilm formation, cell division, differentiation, and virulence. The role of cyclic diguanylate signaling in the lifestyle of Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, has not previously been examined. The L. pneumophila genome encodes 22 predicted proteins containing domains related to cyclic diguanylate synthesis, hydrolysis, and recognition. We refer to these genes as cdgS (cyclic diguanylate signaling) genes. Strains of L. pneumophila containing deletions of all individual cdgS genes were created and did not exhibit any observable growth defect in growth medium or inside host cells. However, when overexpressed, several cdgS genes strongly decreased the ability of L. pneumophila to grow inside host cells. Expression of these cdgS genes did not affect the Dot/Icm type IVB secretion system, the major determinant of intracellular growth in L. pneumophila. L. pneumophila strains overexpressing these cdgS genes were less cytotoxic to THP-1 macrophages than wild-type L. pneumophila but retained the ability to resist grazing by amoebae. In many cases, the intracellular-growth inhibition caused by cdgS gene overexpression was independent of diguanylate cyclase or phosphodiesterase activities. Expression of the cdgS genes in a Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis strain that lacks all diguanylate cyclase activity indicated that several cdgS genes encode potential cyclases. These results indicate that components of the cyclic diguanylate signaling pathway play an important role in regulating the ability of L. pneumophila to grow in host cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center