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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Nov 28;114(48):E10446-E10454. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1708553114. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

Multiple Legionella pneumophila effector virulence phenotypes revealed through high-throughput analysis of targeted mutant libraries.

Author information

1
Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519.
2
Microbial Sciences Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519.
3
Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519; craig.roy@yale.edu.

Abstract

Legionella pneumophila is the causative agent of a severe pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. A single strain of L. pneumophila encodes a repertoire of over 300 different effector proteins that are delivered into host cells by the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system during infection. The large number of L. pneumophila effectors has been a limiting factor in assessing the importance of individual effectors for virulence. Here, a transposon insertion sequencing technology called INSeq was used to analyze replication of a pool of effector mutants in parallel both in a mouse model of infection and in cultured host cells. Loss-of-function mutations in genes encoding effector proteins resulted in host-specific or broad virulence phenotypes. Screen results were validated for several effector mutants displaying different virulence phenotypes using genetic complementation studies and infection assays. Specifically, loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding LegC4 resulted in enhanced L. pneumophila in the lungs of infected mice but not within cultured host cells, which indicates LegC4 augments bacterial clearance by the host immune system. The effector proteins RavY and Lpg2505 were important for efficient replication within both mammalian and protozoan hosts. Further analysis of Lpg2505 revealed that this protein functions as a metaeffector that counteracts host cytotoxicity displayed by the effector protein SidI. Thus, this study identified a large cohort of effectors that contribute to L. pneumophila virulence positively or negatively and has demonstrated regulation of effector protein activities by cognate metaeffectors as being critical for host pathogenesis.

KEYWORDS:

bacterial effectors; transposon insertion sequencing; type IV secretion

PMID:
29133401
PMCID:
PMC5715750
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1708553114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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