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PLoS Pathog. 2017 Jun 6;13(6):e1006428. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006428. eCollection 2017 Jun.

Vibrio cholerae ensures function of host proteins required for virulence through consumption of luminal methionine sulfoxide.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA, United States of America.
Division of Signal Transduction, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 3 Blackfan Circle, Boston MA, United States of America.
Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, United States of America.
Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA United States of America.


Vibrio cholerae is a diarrheal pathogen that induces accumulation of lipid droplets in enterocytes, leading to lethal infection of the model host Drosophila melanogaster. Through untargeted lipidomics, we provide evidence that this process is the product of a host phospholipid degradation cascade that induces lipid droplet coalescence in enterocytes. This infection-induced cascade is inhibited by mutation of the V. cholerae glycine cleavage system due to intestinal accumulation of methionine sulfoxide (MetO), and both dietary supplementation with MetO and enterocyte knock-down of host methionine sulfoxide reductase A (MsrA) yield increased resistance to infection. MsrA converts both free and protein-associated MetO to methionine. These findings support a model in which dietary MetO competitively inhibits repair of host proteins by MsrA. Bacterial virulence strategies depend on functional host proteins. We propose a novel virulence paradigm in which an intestinal pathogen ensures the repair of host proteins essential for pathogenesis through consumption of dietary MetO.

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