Legionella pneumophila exploits the endo-lysosomal network for phagosome biogenesis

Published: 7 September 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/54v7hn8hvz.1
Chuang Li


L. pneumophila strains harboring wild-type rpsL such as Lp02rpsLWT cannot replicate in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) due to induction of extensive lysosome damage and apoptosis. The mechanism of this unique infection-induced cell death remains unknown. Using a genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screening, we identified Hmg20a and Nol9 as host factors important for restricting strain Lp02rpsLWT in BMDMs. Depletion of Hmg20a protects macrophages from infection-induced lysosomal damage and apoptosis, allowing productive bacterial replication. The restriction imposed by Hmg20a was mediated by repressing the expression of several endo-lysosomal proteins, including the small GTPase Rab7. We found that SUMOylated Rab7 is recruited to the bacterial phagosome via SulF, a Dot/Icm effector that harbors a SUMO-interacting motif (SIM). Moreover, overexpression of Rab7 rescues intracellular growth of strain Lp02rpsLWT in BMDMs. Our results establish that L. pneumophila exploits the lysosomal network for the biogenesis of its phagosome in BMDMs.



Purdue University