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Trends Microbiol. 2012 Jun;20(6):299-306. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2012.03.005. Epub 2012 Apr 9.

Exploitation of evolutionarily conserved amoeba and mammalian processes by Legionella.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.


Legionella pneumophila proliferates within various protists and metazoan cells, where a cadre of ∼300 effectors is injected into the host cell by the defect in organelle trafficking/intracellular multiplication (Dot/Icm) type IVB translocation system. Interkingdom horizontal gene transfer of genes of protists and their subsequent convergent evolution to become translocated effectors has probably enabled L. pneumophila to adapt to the intracellular life within various protists and metazoan cells through exploitation of evolutionarily eukaryotic processes, such as endoplasmic reticulum-to-Golgi vesicle traffic, phosphoinositol metabolism, AMPylation, deAMPylation, prenylation, polyubiquitination, proteasomal degradation and cytosolic amino- and oligo-peptidases. This is highlighted by the ankyrin B (AnkB) F-box effector that exploits multiple conserved eukaryotic machineries to generate high levels of free amino acids as sources of carbon and energy essential for intracellular proliferation in protists and metazoan cells and for manifestation of pulmonary disease in mammals.

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