Legionella pneumophila-mediated host posttranslational modifications

J Mol Cell Biol. 2023 May 8;mjad032. doi: 10.1093/jmcb/mjad032. Online ahead of print.


Legionella pneumophila is a Gram-negative bacterium ubiquitously present in freshwater environments and causes a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. During infections, L. pneumophila releases >300 effector proteins into host cells through an Icm/Dot type IV secretion system to manipulate the host defense system for survival within the hosts. Notably, certain effector proteins mediate posttranslational modifications (PTMs), serving as useful approaches exploited by L. pneumophila to modify host proteins. Some effectors catalyze the addition of host protein PTMs, while others mediate the removal of PTMs of host proteins. In this review, we summarize L. pneumophila effector-mediated PTMs of host proteins, including phosphorylation, ubiquitination, glycosylation, AMPylation, phosphocholination, methylation, ADP-ribosylation, as well as dephosphorylation, deubiquitination, deAMPylation, deADP-ribosylation, dephosphocholination, and delipidation. We describe their molecular mechanisms and biological functions in the regulation of bacterial growth and Legionella-containing vacuole biosynthesis and in the disruption of host immune and defense machinery.

Keywords: Legionella pneumophila; Legionella-containing vacuole; bacterial effector; host defense system; host–pathogen interaction; pathogenesis; posttranslational modification.