TcpC inhibits neutrophil extracellular trap formation by enhancing ubiquitination mediated degradation of peptidylarginine deiminase 4

Nat Commun. 2021 Jun 9;12(1):3481. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23881-8.


TcpC is a multifunctional virulence factor of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC). Neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis) is a crucial anti-infection mechanism of neutrophils. Here we show the influence of TcpC on NETosis and related mechanisms. We show NETosis in the context of a pyelonephritis mouse model induced by TcpC-secreting wild-type E. coli CFT073 (CFT073wt) and LPS-induced in vitro NETosis with CFT073wt or recombinant TcpC (rTcpC)-treated neutrophils are inhibited. rTcpC enters neutrophils through caveolin-mediated endocytosis and inhibits LPS-induced production of ROS, proinflammatory cytokines and protein but not mRNA levels of peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4). rTcpC treatment enhances PAD4 ubiquitination and accumulation in proteasomes. Moreover, in vitro ubiquitination kit analyses show that TcpC is a PAD4-targetd E3 ubiquitin-ligase. These data suggest that TcpC inhibits NETosis primarily by serving as an E3 ligase that promotes degradation of PAD4. Our findings provide a novel mechanism underlying TcpC-mediated innate immune evasion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't