Detection of cytosolic Shigella flexneri via a C-terminal triple-arginine motif of GBP1 inhibits actin-based motility

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Dynamin-like guanylate binding proteins (GBPs) are gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-inducible host defense proteins that can associate with cytosol-invading bacterial pathogens. Mouse GBPs promote the lytic destruction of targeted bacteria in the host cell cytosol, but the antimicrobial function of human GBPs and the mechanism by which these proteins associate with cytosolic bacteria are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that human GBP1 is unique among the seven human GBP paralogs in its ability to associate with at least two cytosolic Gram-negative bacteria, and Rough lipopolysaccharide (LPS) mutants of colocalize with GBP1 less frequently than wild-type does, suggesting that host recognition of O antigen promotes GBP1 targeting to Gram-negative bacteria. The targeting of GBP1 to cytosolic bacteria, via a unique triple-arginine motif present in its C terminus, promotes the corecruitment of four additional GBP paralogs (GBP2, GBP3, GBP4, and GBP6). GBP1-decorated organisms replicate but fail to form actin tails, leading to their intracellular aggregation. Consequentially, the wild type but not the triple-arginine GBP1 mutant restricts cell-to-cell spread. Furthermore, human-adapted , through the action of one its secreted effectors, IpaH9.8, is more resistant to GBP1 targeting than the non-human-adapted bacillus These studies reveal that human GBP1 uniquely functions as an intracellular "glue trap," inhibiting the cytosolic movement of normally actin-propelled Gram-negative bacteria. In response to this powerful human defense program, has evolved an effective counterdefense to restrict GBP1 recruitment. Several pathogenic bacterial species evolved to invade, reside in, and replicate inside the cytosol of their host cells. One adaptation common to most cytosolic bacterial pathogens is the ability to coopt the host's actin polymerization machinery in order to generate force for intracellular movement. This actin-based motility enables Gram-negative bacteria, such as species, to propel themselves into neighboring cells, thereby spreading from host cell to host cell without exiting the intracellular environment. Here, we show that the human protein GBP1 acts as a cytosolic "glue trap," capturing cytosolic Gram-negative bacteria through a unique protein motif and preventing disseminated infections in cell culture models. To escape from this GBP1-mediated host defense, employs a virulence factor that prevents or dislodges the association of GBP1 with cytosolic bacteria. Thus, therapeutic strategies to restore GBP1 binding to may lead to novel treatment options for shigellosis in the future.

Journal details

Journal mBio
Volume 8
Issue number 6
Pages e01979-17
Available online
Publication date

Crick labs/facilities