Editors' ChoiceHost-Pathogen Interactions

Bacterial-Host Exploitation

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Science Signaling  15 Mar 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 164, pp. ec79
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4164ec79

Intracellular bacterial pathogens are responsible for a variety of diseases, including listeriosis and legionnaire’s disease. The bacterial pathogens subvert cellular functions through the interaction of bacterial effector proteins with host components. Lebreton et al. (see the Perspective by Rohde) found that a virulence factor, LntA, of the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes targets the host cell nucleus to activate the type III–interferon signaling pathway. LntA counteracted the repression mediated by the chromatin regulator BAHD1 to subvert the heterochromatin machinery and reprogram the transcription of host genes involved in innate immunity. The pathogens thus manipulate epigenetic regulation to their advantage.

A. Lebreton, G. Lakisic, V. Job, L. Fritsch, T. N. Tham, A. Camejo, P.-J. Matteï, B. Regnault, M.-A. Nahori, D. Cabanes, A. Gautreau, S. Ait-Si-Ali, A. Dessen, P. Cossart, H. Bierne, A bacterial protein targets the BAHD1 chromatin complex to stimulate type III interferon response. Science 331, 1319–1321 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]

J. R. Rohde, Listeria unwinds host DNA. Science 331, 1271–1272 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]