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Studying Coxiella burnetii Type IV Substrates in the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Focus on Subcellular Localization and Protein Aggregation.



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Rodríguez Escudero, María and Cid, Víctor J. and Molina, María and Schulze Luehrmann, Jan and Lührmann, Anja and Rodríguez Escudero, Isabel (2016) Studying Coxiella burnetii Type IV Substrates in the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Focus on Subcellular Localization and Protein Aggregation. PloS one, 11 (1). e0148032. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148032


Coxiella burnetii is a Gram-negative obligate parasitic bacterium that causes the disease Q-fever in humans. To establish its intracellular niche, it utilizes the Icm/Dot type IVB secretion system (T4BSS) to inject protein effectors into the host cell cytoplasm. The host targets of most cognate and candidate T4BSS-translocated effectors remain obscure. We used the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model to express and study six C. burnetii effectors, namely AnkA, AnkB, AnkF, CBU0077, CaeA and CaeB, in search for clues about their role in C. burnetii virulence. When ectopically expressed in HeLa cells, these effectors displayed distinct subcellular localizations. Accordingly, GFP fusions of these proteins produced in yeast also decorated distinct compartments, and most of them altered cell growth. CaeA was ubiquitinated both in yeast and mammalian cells and, in S. cerevisiae, accumulated at juxtanuclear quality-control compartments (JUNQs) and insoluble protein deposits (IPODs), characteristic of aggregative or misfolded proteins. AnkA, which was not ubiquitinated, accumulated exclusively at the IPOD. CaeA, but not AnkA or the other effectors, caused oxidative damage in yeast. We discuss that CaeA and AnkA behavior in yeast may rather reflect misfolding than recognition of conserved targets in the heterologous system. In contrast, CBU0077 accumulated at vacuolar membranes and abnormal ER extensions, suggesting that it interferes with vesicular traffic, whereas AnkB associated with the yeast nucleolus. Both effectors shared common localization features in HeLa and yeast cells. Our results support the idea that C. burnetii T4BSS effectors manipulate multiple host cell targets, which can be conserved in higher and lower eukaryotic cells. However, the behavior of CaeA and AnkA prompt us to conclude that heterologous protein aggregation and proteostatic stress can be a limitation to be considered when using the yeast model to assess the function of bacterial effectors.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Coxiella burnetii, T4BSS, Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Subjects:Medical sciences > Pharmacy > Microbiology
ID Code:36212
Deposited On:09 May 2016 10:57
Last Modified:09 May 2016 11:03

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