ISSN / EISSN : 1553-7366 / 1553-7374
Published by: Public Library of Science (PLoS) (10.1371)
Total articles ≅ 9,168
Latest articles in this journal
PLoS Pathogens, Volume 17; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009927
Regulated cell necrosis supports immune and anti-infectious strategies of the body; however, dysregulation of these processes drives pathological organ damage. Pseudomonas aeruginosa expresses a phospholipase, ExoU that triggers pathological host cell necrosis through a poorly characterized pathway. Here, we investigated the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ExoU-mediated necrosis. We show that cellular peroxidised phospholipids enhance ExoU phospholipase activity, which drives necrosis of immune and non-immune cells. Conversely, both the endogenous lipid peroxidation regulator GPX4 and the pharmacological inhibition of lipid peroxidation delay ExoU-dependent cell necrosis and improve bacterial elimination in vitro and in vivo. Our findings also pertain to the ExoU-related phospholipase from the bacterial pathogen Burkholderia thailandensis, suggesting that exploitation of peroxidised phospholipids might be a conserved virulence mechanism among various microbial phospholipases. Overall, our results identify an original lipid peroxidation-based virulence mechanism as a strong contributor of microbial phospholipase-driven pathology.
PLoS Pathogens, Volume 17; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009900
Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), a double-stranded RNA virus, causes immunosuppression and high mortality in 3–6-week-old chickens. Innate immune defense is a physical barrier to restrict viral replication. After viral infection, the host shows crucial defense responses, such as stimulation of antiviral effectors to restrict viral replication. Here, we conducted RNA-seq in avian cells infected by IBDV and identified TRIM25 as a host restriction factor. Specifically, TRIM25 deficiency dramatically increased viral yields, whereas overexpression of TRIM25 significantly inhibited IBDV replication. Immunoprecipitation assays indicated that TRIM25 only interacted with VP3 among all viral proteins, mediating its K27-linked polyubiquitination and subsequent proteasomal degradation. Moreover, the Lys854 residue of VP3 was identified as the key target site for the ubiquitination catalyzed by TRIM25. The ubiquitination site destroyed enhanced the replication ability of IBDV in vitro and in vivo. These findings demonstrated that TRIM25 inhibited IBDV replication by specifically ubiquitinating and degrading the structural protein VP3.
PLOS Pathogens, Volume 17; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009901
Neddylation, an important type of post-translational modification, has been implicated in innate and adapted immunity. But the role of neddylation in innate immune response against RNA viruses remains elusive. Here we report that neddylation promotes RNA virus-induced type I IFN production, especially IFN-α. More importantly, myeloid deficiency of UBA3 or NEDD8 renders mice less resistant to RNA virus infection. Neddylation is essential for RNA virus-triggered activation of Ifna gene promoters. Further exploration has revealed that mammalian IRF7undergoes neddylation, which is enhanced after RNA virus infection. Even though neddylation blockade does not hinder RNA virus-triggered IRF7 expression, IRF7 mutant defective in neddylation exhibits reduced ability to activate Ifna gene promoters. Neddylation blockade impedes RNA virus-induced IRF7 nuclear translocation without hindering its phosphorylation and dimerization with IRF3. By contrast, IRF7 mutant defective in neddylation shows enhanced dimerization with IRF5, an Ifna repressor when interacting with IRF7. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that myeloid neddylation contributes to host anti-viral innate immunity through targeting IRF7 and promoting its transcriptional activity.
PLOS Pathogens, Volume 17; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009884
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), caused primarily by the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans, results in significant quality-of-life issues for women worldwide. Candidalysin, a toxin derived from a polypeptide (Ece1p) encoded by the ECE1 gene, plays a crucial role in driving immunopathology at the vaginal mucosa. This study aimed to determine if expression and/or processing of Ece1p differs across C. albicans isolates and whether this partly underlies differential pathogenicity observed clinically. Using a targeted sequencing approach, we determined that isolate 529L harbors a similarly expressed, yet distinct Ece1p isoform variant that encodes for a predicted functional candidalysin; this isoform was conserved amongst a collection of clinical isolates. Expression of the ECE1 open reading frame (ORF) from 529L in an SC5314-derived ece1Δ/Δ strain resulted in significantly reduced vaginopathogenicity as compared to an isogenic control expressing a wild-type (WT) ECE1 allele. However, in vitro challenge of vaginal epithelial cells with synthetic candidalysin demonstrated similar toxigenic activity amongst SC5314 and 529L isoforms. Creation of an isogenic panel of chimeric strains harboring swapped Ece1p peptides or HiBiT tags revealed reduced secretion with the ORF from 529L that was associated with reduced virulence. A genetic survey of 78 clinical isolates demonstrated a conserved pattern between Ece1p P2 and P3 sequences, suggesting that substrate specificity around Kex2p-mediated KR cleavage sites involved in protein processing may contribute to differential pathogenicity amongst clinical isolates. Therefore, we present a new mechanism for attenuation of C. albicans virulence at the ECE1 locus.
PLOS Pathogens, Volume 17; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009813
PLOS Pathogens, Volume 17; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009932
Many bacterial pathogens require a type 3 secretion system (T3SS) to establish a niche. Host contact activates bacterial T3SS assembly of a translocon pore in the host plasma membrane. Following pore formation, the T3SS docks onto the translocon pore. Docking establishes a continuous passage that enables the translocation of virulence proteins, effectors, into the host cytosol. Here we investigate the contribution of actin polymerization to T3SS-mediated translocation. Using the T3SS model organism Shigella flexneri, we show that actin polymerization is required for assembling the translocon pore in an open conformation, thereby enabling effector translocation. Opening of the pore channel is associated with a conformational change to the pore, which is dependent upon actin polymerization and a coiled-coil domain in the pore protein IpaC. Analysis of an IpaC mutant that is defective in ruffle formation shows that actin polymerization-dependent pore opening is distinct from the previously described actin polymerization-dependent ruffles that are required for bacterial internalization. Moreover, actin polymerization is not required for other pore functions, including docking or pore protein insertion into the plasma membrane. Thus, activation of the T3SS is a multilayered process in which host signals are sensed by the translocon pore leading to the activation of effector translocation.
PLOS Pathogens, Volume 17; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009872
Microbes are constantly evolving. Laboratory studies of bacterial evolution increase our understanding of evolutionary dynamics, identify adaptive changes, and answer important questions that impact human health. During bacterial infections in humans, however, the evolutionary parameters acting on infecting populations are likely to be much more complex than those that can be tested in the laboratory. Nonetheless, human infections can be thought of as naturally occurring in vivo bacterial evolution experiments, which can teach us about antibiotic resistance, pathogenesis, and transmission. Here, we review recent advances in the study of within-host bacterial evolution during human infection and discuss practical considerations for conducting such studies. We focus on 2 possible outcomes for de novo adaptive mutations, which we have termed “adapt-and-live” and “adapt-and-die.” In the adapt-and-live scenario, a mutation is long lived, enabling its transmission on to other individuals, or the establishment of chronic infection. In the adapt-and-die scenario, a mutation is rapidly extinguished, either because it carries a substantial fitness cost, it arises within tissues that block transmission to new hosts, it is outcompeted by more fit clones, or the infection resolves. Adapt-and-die mutations can provide rich information about selection pressures in vivo, yet they can easily elude detection because they are short lived, may be more difficult to sample, or could be maladaptive in the long term. Understanding how bacteria adapt under each of these scenarios can reveal new insights about the basic biology of pathogenic microbes and could aid in the design of new translational approaches to combat bacterial infections.
PLOS Pathogens, Volume 17; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009817
Clostridiodes difficile (C. difficile) was ranked an “urgent threat” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2019. C. difficile infection (CDI) is the most common healthcare-associated infection (HAI) in the United States of America as well as the leading cause of antibiotic-associated gastrointestinal disease. C. difficile is a gram-positive, rod-shaped, spore-forming, anaerobic bacterium that causes infection of the epithelial lining of the gut. CDI occurs most commonly after disruption of the human gut microflora following the prolonged use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. However, the recurrent nature of this disease has led to the hypothesis that biofilm formation may play a role in its pathogenesis. Biofilms are sessile communities of bacteria protected from extracellular stresses by a matrix of self-produced proteins, polysaccharides, and extracellular DNA. Biofilm regulation in C. difficile is still incompletely understood, and its role in disease recurrence has yet to be fully elucidated. However, many factors have been found to influence biofilm formation in C. difficile, including motility, adhesion, and hydrophobicity of the bacterial cells. Small changes in one of these systems can greatly influence biofilm formation. Therefore, the biofilm regulatory system would need to coordinate all these systems to create optimal biofilm-forming physiology under appropriate environmental conditions. The coordination of these systems is complex and multifactorial, and any analysis must take into consideration the influences of the stress response, quorum sensing (QS), and gene regulation by second messenger molecule cyclic diguanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP). However, the differences in biofilm-forming ability between C. difficile strains such as 630 and the “hypervirulent” strain, R20291, make it difficult to assign a “one size fits all” mechanism to biofilm regulation in C. difficile. This review seeks to consolidate published data regarding the regulation of C. difficile biofilms in order to identify gaps in knowledge and propose directions for future study.
PLOS Pathogens, Volume 17; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009936
While Entamoeba histolytica (Eh)-induced pro-inflammatory responses are critical in disease pathogenesis, the downstream signaling pathways that subsequently dampens inflammation and the immune response remains unclear. Eh in contact with macrophages suppresses NF-κB signaling while favoring NLRP3-dependent pro-inflammatory cytokine production by an unknown mechanism. Cullin-1 and cullin-5 (cullin-1/5) assembled into a multi-subunit RING E3 ubiquitin ligase complex are substrates for neddylation that regulates the ubiquitination pathway important in NF-κB activity and pro-inflammatory cytokine production. In this study, we showed that upon live Eh contact with human macrophages, cullin-1/4A/4B/5 but not cullin-2/3, were degraded within 10 minutes. Similar degradation of cullin-1/5 were observed from colonic epithelial cells and proximal colonic loops tissues of mice inoculated with live Eh. Degradation of cullin-1/5 was dependent on Eh-induced activation of caspase-1 via the NLRP3 inflammasome. Unlike cullin-4B, the degradation of cullin-4A was partially dependent on caspase-1 and was inhibited with a pan caspase inhibitor. Cullin-1/5 degradation was dependent on Eh cysteine proteinases EhCP-A1 and EhCP-A4, but not EhCP-A5, based on pharmacological inhibition of the cysteine proteinases and EhCP-A5 deficient parasites. siRNA silencing of cullin-1/5 decreased the phosphorylation of pIκ-Bα in response to Eh and LPS stimulation and downregulated NF-κB-dependent TNF-α mRNA expression and TNF-α and MCP-1 pro-inflammatory cytokine production. These results unravel a unique outside-in strategy employed by Eh to attenuate NF-κB-dependent pro-inflammatory responses via NLRP3 activation of caspase-1 that degraded cullin-1/5 from macrophages.
PLOS Pathogens, Volume 17; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009840
COVID-19 vaccines based on the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 have been developed that appear to be largely successful in stopping infection. However, therapeutics that can help manage the disease are still required until immunity has been achieved globally. The identification of repurposed drugs that stop SARS-CoV-2 replication could have enormous utility in stemming the disease. Here, using a nano-luciferase tagged version of the virus (SARS-CoV-2-ΔOrf7a-NLuc) to quantitate viral load, we evaluated a range of human cell types for their ability to be infected and support replication of the virus, and performed a screen of 1971 FDA-approved drugs. Hepatocytes, kidney glomerulus, and proximal tubule cells were particularly effective in supporting SARS-CoV-2 replication, which is in-line with reported proteinuria and liver damage in patients with COVID-19. Using the nano-luciferase as a measure of virus replication we identified 35 drugs that reduced replication in Vero cells and human hepatocytes when treated prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection and found amodiaquine, atovaquone, bedaquiline, ebastine, LY2835219, manidipine, panobinostat, and vitamin D3 to be effective in slowing SARS-CoV-2 replication in human cells when used to treat infected cells. In conclusion, our study has identified strong candidates for drug repurposing, which could prove powerful additions to the treatment of COVID.