Genome-wide Chromatin Profiling of Legionella pneumophila-Infected Human Macrophages Reveals Activation of the Probacterial Host Factor TNFAIP2

J Infect Dis. 2016 Aug 1;214(3):454-63. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw171. Epub 2016 Apr 29.


Background: Legionella pneumophila is a causative agent of severe pneumonia. Infection leads to a broad host cell response, as evident, for example, on the transcriptional level. Chromatin modifications, which control gene expression, play a central role in the transcriptional response to L. pneumophila

Methods: We infected human-blood-derived macrophages (BDMs) with L. pneumophila and used chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing to screen for gene promoters with the activating histone 4 acetylation mark.

Results: We found the promoter of tumor necrosis factor α-induced protein 2 (TNFAIP2) to be acetylated at histone H4. This factor has not been characterized in the pathology of L. pneumophila TNFAIP2 messenger RNA and protein were upregulated in response to L. pneumophila infection of human-BDMs and human alveolar epithelial (A549) cells. We showed that L. pneumophila-induced TNFAIP2 expression is dependent on the NF-κB transcription factor. Importantly, knock down of TNFAIP2 led to reduced intracellular replication of L. pneumophila Corby in A549 cells.

Conclusions: Taken together, genome-wide chromatin analysis of L. pneumophila-infected macrophages demonstrated induction of TNFAIP2, a NF-κB-dependent factor relevant for bacterial replication.

Keywords: A549; Legionella pneumophila; TNFAIP2; macrophage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Cell Line
  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • Cytokines / analysis*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Epithelial Cells / chemistry
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology
  • Histones / analysis
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Legionella pneumophila / pathogenicity*
  • Macrophages / chemistry*
  • Macrophages / microbiology*


  • Chromatin
  • Cytokines
  • Histones
  • TNFAIP2 protein, human