Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Metabolism of myo-inositol by legionella pneumophila promotes infection of amoebae and macrophages


Manske, Christian; Schell, Ursula; Hilbi, Hubert (2016). Metabolism of myo-inositol by legionella pneumophila promotes infection of amoebae and macrophages. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 82(16):5000-5014.

Abstract

UNLABELLED Legionella pneumophila is a natural parasite of environmental amoebae and the causative agent of a severe pneumonia termed Legionnaires' disease. The facultative intracellular pathogen employs a bipartite metabolism, where the amino acid serine serves as the major energy supply, while glycerol and glucose are mainly utilized for anabolic processes. The L. pneumophila genome harbors the cluster lpg1653 to lpg1649 putatively involved in the metabolism of the abundant carbohydrate myo-inositol (here termed inositol). To assess inositol metabolism by L. pneumophila, we constructed defined mutant strains lacking lpg1653 or lpg1652, which are predicted to encode the inositol transporter IolT or the inositol-2-dehydrogenase IolG, respectively. The mutant strains were not impaired for growth in complex or defined minimal media, and inositol did not promote extracellular growth. However, upon coinfection of Acanthamoeba castellanii, the mutants were outcompeted by the parental strain, indicating that the intracellular inositol metabolism confers a fitness advantage to the pathogen. Indeed, inositol added to L. pneumophila-infected amoebae or macrophages promoted intracellular growth of the parental strain, but not of the ΔiolT or ΔiolG mutant, and growth stimulation by inositol was restored by complementation of the mutant strains. The expression of the Piol promoter and bacterial uptake of inositol required the alternative sigma factor RpoS, a key virulence regulator of L. pneumophila Finally, the parental strain and ΔiolG mutant bacteria but not the ΔiolT mutant strain accumulated [U-(14)C6]inositol, indicating that IolT indeed functions as an inositol transporter. Taken together, intracellular L. pneumophila metabolizes inositol through the iol gene products, thus promoting the growth and virulence of the pathogen. IMPORTANCE The environmental bacterium Legionella pneumophila is the causative agent of a severe pneumonia termed Legionnaires' disease. The opportunistic pathogen replicates in protozoan and mammalian phagocytes in a unique vacuole. Amino acids are thought to represent the prime source of carbon and energy for L. pneumophila However, genome, transcriptome, and proteome studies indicate that the pathogen not only utilizes amino acids as carbon sources but possesses broader metabolic capacities. In this study, we analyzed the metabolism of inositol by extra- and intracellularly growing L. pneumophila By using genetic, biochemical, and cell biological approaches, we found that L. pneumophila accumulates and metabolizes inositol through the iol gene products, thus promoting the intracellular growth, virulence, and fitness of the pathogen. Our study significantly contributes to an understanding of the intracellular niche of a human pathogen.

Abstract

UNLABELLED Legionella pneumophila is a natural parasite of environmental amoebae and the causative agent of a severe pneumonia termed Legionnaires' disease. The facultative intracellular pathogen employs a bipartite metabolism, where the amino acid serine serves as the major energy supply, while glycerol and glucose are mainly utilized for anabolic processes. The L. pneumophila genome harbors the cluster lpg1653 to lpg1649 putatively involved in the metabolism of the abundant carbohydrate myo-inositol (here termed inositol). To assess inositol metabolism by L. pneumophila, we constructed defined mutant strains lacking lpg1653 or lpg1652, which are predicted to encode the inositol transporter IolT or the inositol-2-dehydrogenase IolG, respectively. The mutant strains were not impaired for growth in complex or defined minimal media, and inositol did not promote extracellular growth. However, upon coinfection of Acanthamoeba castellanii, the mutants were outcompeted by the parental strain, indicating that the intracellular inositol metabolism confers a fitness advantage to the pathogen. Indeed, inositol added to L. pneumophila-infected amoebae or macrophages promoted intracellular growth of the parental strain, but not of the ΔiolT or ΔiolG mutant, and growth stimulation by inositol was restored by complementation of the mutant strains. The expression of the Piol promoter and bacterial uptake of inositol required the alternative sigma factor RpoS, a key virulence regulator of L. pneumophila Finally, the parental strain and ΔiolG mutant bacteria but not the ΔiolT mutant strain accumulated [U-(14)C6]inositol, indicating that IolT indeed functions as an inositol transporter. Taken together, intracellular L. pneumophila metabolizes inositol through the iol gene products, thus promoting the growth and virulence of the pathogen. IMPORTANCE The environmental bacterium Legionella pneumophila is the causative agent of a severe pneumonia termed Legionnaires' disease. The opportunistic pathogen replicates in protozoan and mammalian phagocytes in a unique vacuole. Amino acids are thought to represent the prime source of carbon and energy for L. pneumophila However, genome, transcriptome, and proteome studies indicate that the pathogen not only utilizes amino acids as carbon sources but possesses broader metabolic capacities. In this study, we analyzed the metabolism of inositol by extra- and intracellularly growing L. pneumophila By using genetic, biochemical, and cell biological approaches, we found that L. pneumophila accumulates and metabolizes inositol through the iol gene products, thus promoting the intracellular growth, virulence, and fitness of the pathogen. Our study significantly contributes to an understanding of the intracellular niche of a human pathogen.

Statistics

Citations

2 citations in Web of Science®
2 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

7 downloads since deposited on 15 Dec 2016
7 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

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:15 August 2016
Deposited On:15 Dec 2016 11:05
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 14:16
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0099-2240
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01018-16
PubMed ID:27287324

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations