Host proteasomal degradation generates amino acids essential for intracellular bacterial growth.
Science. 2011 Dec 16; 334(6062):1553-7
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Price et al. report the intriguing finding that Legionella, an intracellular bacteria that causes Legionnaire's Disease, harvests amino acids from mammalian host cells by enforcing proteasomal degradation of host proteins.
The authors further show that Legionella AnkB, an F-box effector protein anchored to the phagosomal membrane where the bacteria reside, is responsible for catalyzing K48 ubiquitin linkages to host proteins which are subsequently degraded by the host proteasome to supply amino acids in the vicinity of the Legionella vacuole. Amazingly, the severe growth defect of Legionella inside host treated with proteasome inhibitors can be overcome by supplementation with exogenous amino acids. These data argue that intracellular pathogens harness defined host pathways to supply them with necessary building blocks for growth and spread. Price et al.'s study also argues that existing drugs that target host functions can be repurposed to stunt intracellular pathogen growth viability or function. A further intriguing prospect concerns the targets of AnkB: are there specific host proteins degraded by Legionella that serve a dual purpose of amino acid supply and ablation of anti-bacterial activity?
Murray P: F1000Prime Recommendation of [Price CT et al., Science 2011, 334(6062):1553-7]. In F1000Prime, 06 Dec 2011; DOI: 10.3410/f.13371976.14742078. F1000Prime.com/13371976#eval14742078
F1000Prime Recommendations, Dissents and Comments for [Price CT et al., Science 2011, 334(6062):1553-7]. In F1000Prime, 23 Oct 2014; F1000Prime.com/13371976
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