The many faces of the YopM effector from plague causative bacterium Yersinia pestis and its implications for host immune modulation
ABSTRACT The Yersinia outer protein (Yop) M effector from the Yersinia pestis bacterium is well-known for being a critical virulence determinant; however, structural insight vis-à-vis its role in Y. pestis pathogenesis has been elusive. Here, we investigate the intact sequence of the YopM protein through our recently developed fold identification and homology modeling tools, and analyze the immune modulatory potential of its constituent domains. We identify a putative novel E3 ligase (NEL) domain towards the C-terminal tail of YopM and characterize its active site, to show that YopM could function as an autoregulated bacterial type E3 ubiquitin ligase. We further identify unreported NEL domains in several other bacteria and note remarkable similarity in sequence, structure, surface, and electrostatics for the family of NEL-containing bacterial effectors that suggests conserved function and potentially similar host targets for these proteins. Based on these observations and recent empirical evidence for degradation of the human proteins HLA-DR, thioredoxin, and NEMO/IKKγ by other members of the NEL-containing bacterial family, we discuss the potential for YopM to modulate a wide spectrum of immune signal transduction pathways. The key immune modulatory effects highlighted are suppression of MHC class II antigen presentation, dampening of nuclear factor (NF)-κB mediated inflammatory response, and intonation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Additionally, our analysis of the modeled YopM LRR domain reveals structural features akin to the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) LRR motif. We propose that YopM LRR could be a 'molecular mimic' of TLR4 LRR, permitting reduced immunogenicity and potentially mitigating bacterial lipopolysaccharide surveillance of the innate immune system. Our identification and characterization of the YopM NEL domain, taken together with our analysis of the YopM LRR domain, provides plausible insight into subversion of host immunity by Y. pestis YopM and perhaps could set the stage for design of new therapeutic opportunities.
SourceAvailable from: Olivia S Sakhon[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ubiquitination (ubiquitylation) is a common protein modification that regulates a multitude of processes within the cell. This modification is typically accomplished through the covalent binding of ubiquitin to a lysine residue onto a target protein and is catalysed by the presence of three enzymes: an activating enzyme (E1), ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (E2) and ubiquitin-protein ligase (E3). In recent years, ubiquitination has risen as a major signalling regulator of immunity and microbial pathogenesis in the mammalian system. Still, little is known about how ubiquitin relates specifically to vector immunology. Here, we provide a brief overview of ubiquitin biochemistry and describe how ubiquitination regulates immune responses in arthropods of medical relevance. We also discuss scientific gaps in the literature and suggest that, similar to mammals, ubiquitin is a major regulator of immunity in medically important arthropods.Cellular Microbiology 07/2013; 15(7). DOI:10.1111/cmi.12128 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: TRAF3 interacting protein 2 (TRAF3IP2) is important for immune responses to pathogens, inflammatory signals and autoimmunity in mammals. In the present study, we collected 19 mammalian TRAF3IP2 sequences and investigated the various types of selection pressure acting on them. Maximum likelihood estimations of nonsynonymous (dN) to synonymous (dS) substitution (dN/dS) ratios for the aligned coding sequences indicated that, as a whole, TRAF3IP2 has been subject to purifying selection. However, the N-terminus of the protein has been subject to higher selection pressure than the C-terminal domain. While eight amino acid residues within the N-terminus appear to have evolved under positive selection, no evidence for such selection was found in the C-terminus. The positively selected residues, which fall outside the currently known functional sites within TRAF3IP2, may have novel functions. The different selection pressures acting on the N- and C-terminal regions are consistent with their protein structures: the C-terminal structure is an ordered structure, whereas the N-terminus is disordered. Taken together with the results of previous studies, it is plausible that positive selection on the N-terminus of TRAF3IP2 may have occurred by competitive coevolution between mammalian hosts and viruses.Gene 09/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.gene.2013.08.074 · 2.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adherent invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) have been implicated as a causative agent of Crohn's disease (CD) due to their isolation from the intestines of CD sufferers and their ability to persist in macrophages inducing granulomas. The rapid intracellular multiplication of AIEC sets it apart from other enteric pathogens such as Salmonella Typhimurium which after limited replication induce programmed cell death (PCD). Understanding the response of infected cells to the increased AIEC bacterial load and associated metabolic stress may offer insights into AIEC pathogenesis and its association with CD. Here we show that AIEC persistence within macrophages and dendritic cells is facilitated by increased proteasomal degradation of caspase-3. In addition S-nitrosylation of pro- and active forms of caspase-3, which can inhibit the enzymes activity, is increased in AIEC infected macrophages. This S-nitrosylated caspase-3 was seen to accumulate upon inhibition of the proteasome indicating an additional role for S-nitrosylation in inducing caspase-3 degradation in a manner independent of ubiquitination. In addition to the autophagic genetic defects that are linked to CD, this delay in apoptosis mediated in AIEC infected cells through increased degradation of caspase-3, may be an essential factor in its prolonged persistence in CD patients.PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e68386. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0068386 · 3.53 Impact Factor