AMPylation Is Critical for Rab1 Localization to Vacuoles Containing Legionella pneumophila


UNLABELLED Legionella pneumophila is an intracellular pathogen that resides within a membrane-bound compartment that is derived from vesicles exiting the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). To create this compartment, these bacteria use a type IV secretion system to deliver effector proteins that subvert host cell functions. Several Legionella effector proteins modulate the function of the host protein Rab1, which is a GTPase that is recruited to the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV). Here, we examined which of the Rab1-directed enzymatic activities displayed by Legionella effectors are important for localizing the Rab1 protein to the LCV membrane. The guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) domain in the effector protein DrrA (SidM) was essential for Rab1 recruitment to the LCV and Rab1 AMPylation by the nucleotidyltransferase domain in DrrA was important for Rab1 retention. Legionella organisms producing mutant DrrA proteins that were severely attenuated for GEF activity in vitro retained the ability to localize Rab1 to the LCV. Rab1 localization to the LCV mediated by these GEF-defective mutants required AMPylation. Importantly, we found that efficient localization of Rab1 to the LCV occurred when Rab1 GEF activity and Rab1 AMPylation activity were provided by separate proteins. Rab1 phosphocholination (PCylation) by the effector protein AnkX, however, was unable to substitute for Rab1 AMPylation. Lastly, the defect in Rab1 localization to the LCV in AMPylation-deficient strains of Legionella was partially suppressed if the GTPase-activating protein (GAP) LepB was eliminated. Thus, our data indicate that AMPylation of Rab1 is an effective strategy to maintain this GTPase on the LCV membrane. IMPORTANCE Activities that enable the intracellular pathogen Legionella pneumophila to subvert the function of the host protein Rab1 were investigated. Our data show that a posttranslational modification called AMPylation is critical for maintaining a pool of Rab1 on the LCV membrane. AMPylation of Rab1 led to the accumulation of GTP-bound Rab1 on the LCV membrane by protecting the protein from inactivation by GAPs. Importantly, PCylation of Rab1 by the Legionella effector protein AnkX was neither necessary nor sufficient to maintain Rab1 on the LCV, indicating that AMPylation and PCylation represent functionally distinct activities. We conclude that modification of Rab1 by AMPylation is an effective strategy to spatially and temporally regulate the function of this GTPase on a membrane-bound organelle.

DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01035-13

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@inproceedings{Hardiman2014AMPylationIC, title={AMPylation Is Critical for Rab1 Localization to Vacuoles Containing Legionella pneumophila}, author={Camille A. Hardiman and Craig R. Roy}, booktitle={mBio}, year={2014} }