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Cell Host Microbe. 2012 Dec 13;12(6):778-90. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2012.10.019.

The LRR and RING domain protein LRSAM1 is an E3 ligase crucial for ubiquitin-dependent autophagy of intracellular Salmonella Typhimurium.

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Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Several species of pathogenic bacteria replicate within an intracellular vacuolar niche. Bacteria that escape into the cytosol are captured by the autophagic pathway and targeted for lysosomal degradation, representing a defense against bacterial exploitation of the host cytosol. Autophagic capture of Salmonella Typhimurium occurs predominantly via generation of a polyubiquitin signal around cytosolic bacteria, binding of adaptor proteins, and recruitment of autophagic machinery. However, the components mediating bacterial target selection and ubiquitination remain obscure. We identify LRSAM1 as the E3 ligase responsible for anti-Salmonella autophagy-associated ubiquitination. LRSAM1 localizes to several intracellular bacterial pathogens and generates the bacteria-associated ubiquitin signal; these functions require LRSAM1's leucine-rich repeat and RING domains, respectively. Using cells from LRSAM1-deficient individuals, we confirm that LRSAM1 is required for ubiquitination associated with intracellular bacteria but dispensable for ubiquitination of aggregated proteins. LRSAM1 is therefore a bacterial recognition protein and ubiquitin ligase that defends the cytoplasm from invasive pathogens.

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