Dictyostelium transcriptional host cell response upon infection with Legionella

Cell Microbiol. 2006 Mar;8(3):438-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2005.00633.x.


Differential gene expression of Dictyostelium discoideum after infection with Legionella pneumophila was investigated using DNA microarrays. Investigation of a 48 h time course of infection revealed several clusters of co-regulated genes, an enrichment of preferentially up- or downregulated genes in distinct functional categories and also showed that most of the transcriptional changes occurred 24 h after infection. A detailed analysis of the 24 h time point post infection was performed in comparison to three controls, uninfected cells and co-incubation with Legionella hackeliae and L. pneumophilaDeltadotA. One hundred and thirty-one differentially expressed D. discoideum genes were identified as common to all three experiments and are thought to be involved in the pathogenic response. Functional annotation of the differentially regulated genes revealed that apart from triggering a stress response Legionella apparently not only interferes with intracellular vesicle fusion and destination but also profoundly influences and exploits the metabolism of its host. For some of the identified genes, e.g. rtoA involvement in the host response has been demonstrated in a recent study, for others such a role appears plausible. The results provide the basis for a better understanding of the complex host-pathogen interactions and for further studies on the Dictyostelium response to Legionella infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dictyostelium / microbiology*
  • Dictyostelium / ultrastructure
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Legionella / pathogenicity*
  • Legionella pneumophila / pathogenicity*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Protozoan Proteins