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J Bacteriol. 2012 Mar;194(6):1389-400. doi: 10.1128/JB.06306-11. Epub 2012 Jan 6.

Legionella pneumophila LidA affects nucleotide binding and activity of the host GTPase Rab1.

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Cell Biology and Metabolism Program, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of a severe pneumonia known as Legionnaires' disease, intercepts material from host cell membrane transport pathways to create a specialized vacuolar compartment that supports bacterial replication. Delivery of bacterial effector proteins into the host cell requires the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system. Several effectors, including SidM, SidD, and LepB, were shown to target the early secretory pathway by manipulating the activity of the host GTPase Rab1. While the function of these effectors has been well characterized, the role of another Rab1-interacting protein from L. pneumophila, the effector protein LidA, is poorly understood. Here, we show that LidA binding to Rab1 stabilized the Rab1-guanosine nucleotide complex, protecting it from inactivation by GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) and from nucleotide extraction. The protective effect of LidA on the Rab1-guanine nucleotide complex was concentration dependent, consistent with a 1:1 stoichiometry of the LidA-Rab1 complex. The central coiled-coil region of LidA was sufficient for Rab1 binding and to prevent GAP-mediated inactivation or nucleotide extraction from Rab1. In addition, the central region mediated binding to phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate and other phosphoinositides. When bound to Rab1, LidA interfered with the covalent modification of Rab1 by phosphocholination or AMPylation, and it also blocked de-AMPylation of Rab1 by SidD and dephosphocholination by Lem3. Based on these findings, we propose a role for LidA in bridging the membrane of the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV) with that of secretory transport vesicles surrounding the LCV.

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