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A type IV translocated Legionella cysteine phytase counteracts intracellular growth restriction by phytate


Weber, Stephen; Stirnimann, Christian U; Wieser, Mara; Frey, Daniel; Meier, Roger; Engelhardt, Sabrina; Li, Xiaodan; Capitani, Guido; Kammerer, Richard A; Hilbi, Hubert (2014). A type IV translocated Legionella cysteine phytase counteracts intracellular growth restriction by phytate. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(49):34175-34188.

Abstract

The causative agent of Legionnaires' pneumonia, Legionella pneumophila, colonizes diverse environmental niches, including biofilms, plant material, and protozoa. In these habitats, myo-inositol hexakisphosphate (phytate) is prevalent and used as a phosphate storage compound or as a siderophore. L. pneumophila replicates in protozoa and mammalian phagocytes within a unique "Legionella-containing vacuole." The bacteria govern host cell interactions through the Icm/Dot type IV secretion system (T4SS) and ∼300 different "effector" proteins. Here we characterize a hitherto unrecognized Icm/Dot substrate, LppA, as a phytate phosphatase (phytase). Phytase activity of recombinant LppA required catalytically essential cysteine (Cys(231)) and arginine (Arg(237)) residues. The structure of LppA at 1.4 Å resolution revealed a mainly α-helical globular protein stabilized by four antiparallel β-sheets that binds two phosphate moieties. The phosphates localize to a P-loop active site characteristic of dual specificity phosphatases or to a non-catalytic site, respectively. Phytate reversibly abolished growth of L. pneumophila in broth, and growth inhibition was relieved by overproduction of LppA or by metal ion titration. L. pneumophila lacking lppA replicated less efficiently in phytate-loaded Acanthamoeba castellanii or Dictyostelium discoideum, and the intracellular growth defect was complemented by the phytase gene. These findings identify the chelator phytate as an intracellular bacteriostatic component of cell-autonomous host immunity and reveal a T4SS-translocated L. pneumophila phytase that counteracts intracellular bacterial growth restriction by phytate. Thus, bacterial phytases might represent therapeutic targets to combat intracellular pathogens.

Abstract

The causative agent of Legionnaires' pneumonia, Legionella pneumophila, colonizes diverse environmental niches, including biofilms, plant material, and protozoa. In these habitats, myo-inositol hexakisphosphate (phytate) is prevalent and used as a phosphate storage compound or as a siderophore. L. pneumophila replicates in protozoa and mammalian phagocytes within a unique "Legionella-containing vacuole." The bacteria govern host cell interactions through the Icm/Dot type IV secretion system (T4SS) and ∼300 different "effector" proteins. Here we characterize a hitherto unrecognized Icm/Dot substrate, LppA, as a phytate phosphatase (phytase). Phytase activity of recombinant LppA required catalytically essential cysteine (Cys(231)) and arginine (Arg(237)) residues. The structure of LppA at 1.4 Å resolution revealed a mainly α-helical globular protein stabilized by four antiparallel β-sheets that binds two phosphate moieties. The phosphates localize to a P-loop active site characteristic of dual specificity phosphatases or to a non-catalytic site, respectively. Phytate reversibly abolished growth of L. pneumophila in broth, and growth inhibition was relieved by overproduction of LppA or by metal ion titration. L. pneumophila lacking lppA replicated less efficiently in phytate-loaded Acanthamoeba castellanii or Dictyostelium discoideum, and the intracellular growth defect was complemented by the phytase gene. These findings identify the chelator phytate as an intracellular bacteriostatic component of cell-autonomous host immunity and reveal a T4SS-translocated L. pneumophila phytase that counteracts intracellular bacterial growth restriction by phytate. Thus, bacterial phytases might represent therapeutic targets to combat intracellular pathogens.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Microbiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:5 December 2014
Deposited On:12 Feb 2015 16:09
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 02:30
Publisher:American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
ISSN:0021-9258
Additional Information:This research was originally published in: Weber, Stephen; Stirnimann, Christian U; Wieser, Mara; Frey, Daniel; Meier, Roger; Engelhardt, Sabrina; Li, Xiaodan; Capitani, Guido; Kammerer, Richard A; Hilbi, Hubert (2014). A type IV translocated Legionella cysteine phytase counteracts intracellular growth restriction by phytate. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(49):34175-34188. © the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M114.592568
PubMed ID:25339170

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