Bartonella effector protein C mediates actin stress fiber formation via recruitment of GEF-H1 to the plasma membrane

Marlaire, Simon and Dehio, Christoph. (2020) Bartonella effector protein C mediates actin stress fiber formation via recruitment of GEF-H1 to the plasma membrane.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/79496/

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Bartonellae are Gram-negative facultative-intracellular pathogens that use a type-IV-secretion system (T4SS) to translocate a cocktail of Bartonella effector proteins (Beps) into host cells to modulate diverse cellular functions. BepC was initially reported to act in concert with BepF in triggering major actin cytoskeletal rearrangements that result in the internalization of a large bacterial aggregate by the so-called 'invasome'. Later, infection studies with bepC deletion mutants and ectopic expression of BepC have implicated this effector in triggering an actin-dependent cell contractility phenotype characterized by fragmentation of migrating cells due to deficient rear detachment at the trailing edge, and BepE was shown to counterbalance this remarkable phenotype. However, the molecular mechanism of how BepC triggers cytoskeletal changes and the host factors involved remained elusive. Using infection assays, we show here that T4SS-mediated transfer of BepC is sufficient to trigger stress fiber formation in non-migrating epithelial cells and additionally cell fragmentation in migrating endothelial cells. Interactomic analysis revealed binding of BepC to a complex of the Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor GEF-H1 and the serine/threonine-protein kinase MRCKα. Knock-out cell lines revealed that only GEF-H1 is required for mediating BepC-triggered stress fiber formation and inhibitor studies implicated activation of the RhoA/ROCK pathway downstream of GEF-H1. Ectopic co-expression of tagged versions of GEF-H1 and BepC truncations revealed that the C-terminal ' B ep intracellular d elivery' (BID) domain facilitated anchorage of BepC to the plasma membrane, whereas the N-terminal 'filamentation induced by c AMP' (FIC) domain facilitated binding of GEF-H1. While FIC domains typically mediate post-translational modifications, most prominently AMPylation, a mutant with quadruple amino acid exchanges in the putative active site indicated that the BepC FIC domain acts in a non-catalytic manner to activate GEF-H1. Our data support a model in which BepC activates the RhoA/ROCK pathway by re-localization of GEF-H1 from microtubules to the plasma membrane. Author Summary A wide variety of bacterial pathogens evolved numerous virulence factors to subvert cellular processes in support of a successful infection process. Likewise, bacteria of the genus Bartonella translocate a cocktail of effector proteins (Beps) via a type-IV-secretion system into infected cells in order to interfere with host signaling processes involved in cytoskeletal dynamics, apoptosis control, and innate immune responses. In this study, we demonstrate that BepC triggers actin stress fiber formation and a linked cell fragmentation phenotype resulting from distortion of rear-end retraction during cell migration. The ability of BepC to induce actin stress fiber formation is directly associated with its ability to bind GEF-H1, an activator of the RhoA pathway that is sequestered in an inactive state when bound to microtubules, but becomes activated upon release to the cytoplasm. Our findings suggest that BepC is anchored via its BID domain to the plasma membrane where it recruits GEF-H1 via its FIC domain, eventually activating the RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway and leading to stress fiber formation.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Infection Biology > Molecular Microbiology (Dehio)
UniBasel Contributors:Dehio, Christoph and Marlaire, Simon
Item Type:Working Paper
Number of Pages:65
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Discussion paper / Internet publication
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Last Modified:26 Jan 2021 15:26
Deposited On:26 Jan 2021 15:26

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