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Cell Microbiol. 2011 Dec;13(12):1870-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2011.01710.x. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Manipulation of host vesicular trafficking and innate immune defence by Legionella Dot/Icm effectors.

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National Institute of Biological Sciences, Zhongguancun Life Science Park, Beijing 102206, China.


Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, infects and replicates in macrophages and amoebas. Following internalization, L. pneumophila resides in a vacuole structure called Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV). The LCV escapes from the endocytic maturation process and avoids fusion with the lysosome, a hallmark of Legionella pathogenesis. Interference with the secretory vesicle transport and avoiding lysosomal targeting render the LCV permissive for L. pneumophila intracellular replication. Central to L. pneumophila pathogenesis is a defect in the organelle trafficking/intracellular multiplication (Dot/Icm) type IV secretion system that translocates a large number of effector proteins into host cells. Many of the Dot/Icm effectors employ diverse and sophisticated biochemical strategies to manipulate the host vesicular transport system, playing an important role in LCV biogenesis and trafficking. Similar to other bacterial pathogens, L. pneumophila also delivers effector proteins to modulate or counteract host innate immune defence pathways such as the NF-κB and apoptotic signalling. This review summarizes the known functions and mechanisms of Dot/Icm effectors that target host membrane trafficking and innate immune defence pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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