Pseudomonas evades immune recognition of flagellin in both mammals and plants.
ABSTRACT: The building blocks of bacterial flagella, flagellin monomers, are potent stimulators of host innate immune systems. Recognition of flagellin monomers occurs by flagellin-specific pattern-recognition receptors, such as Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) in mammals and flagellin-sensitive 2 (FLS2) in plants. Activation of these immune systems via flagellin leads eventually to elimination of the bacterium from the host. In order to prevent immune activation and thus favor survival in the host, bacteria secrete many proteins that hamper such recognition. In our search for Toll like receptor (TLR) antagonists, we screened bacterial supernatants and identified alkaline protease (AprA) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a TLR5 signaling inhibitor as evidenced by a marked reduction in IL-8 production and NF-?B activation. AprA effectively degrades the TLR5 ligand monomeric flagellin, while polymeric flagellin (involved in bacterial motility) and TLR5 itself resist degradation. The natural occurring alkaline protease inhibitor AprI of P. aeruginosa blocked flagellin degradation by AprA. P. aeruginosa aprA mutants induced an over 100-fold enhanced activation of TLR5 signaling, because they fail to degrade excess monomeric flagellin in their environment. Interestingly, AprA also prevents flagellin-mediated immune responses (such as growth inhibition and callose deposition) in Arabidopsis thaliana plants. This was due to decreased activation of the receptor FLS2 and clearly demonstrated by delayed stomatal closure with live bacteria in plants. Thus, by degrading the ligand for TLR5 and FLS2, P. aeruginosa escapes recognition by the innate immune systems of both mammals and plants.
Project description:Microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) are molecules, or domains within molecules, that are conserved across microbial taxa and can be recognized by a plant or animal immune system. Although MAMP receptors have evolved to recognize conserved epitopes, the MAMPs in some microbial species or strains have diverged sufficiently to render them unrecognizable by some host immune systems. In this study, we carried out in vitro evolution of the Arabidopsis thaliana flagellin receptor FLAGELLIN-SENSING 2 (FLS2) to isolate derivatives that recognize one or more flagellin peptides from bacteria for which the wild-type Arabidopsis FLS2 confers little or no response. A targeted approach generated amino acid variation at FLS2 residues in a region previously implicated in flagellin recognition. The primary screen tested for elevated response to the canonical flagellin peptide from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, flg22. From this pool, we then identified five alleles of FLS2 that confer modest (quantitatively partial) recognition of an Erwinia amylovora flagellin peptide. Use of this Erwinia-based flagellin peptide to stimulate Arabidopsis plants expressing the resulting FLS2 alleles did not lead to a detectable reduction of virulent P. syringae pv. tomato growth. However, combination of two identified mutations into a single allele further increased FLS2-mediated responses to the E. amylovora flagellin peptide. These studies demonstrate the potential to raise the sensitivity of MAMP receptors toward particular targets.
Project description:Innate immune responses are triggered by the activation of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs). The Arabidopsis PRR FLAGELLIN-SENSING 2 (FLS2) senses bacterial flagellin and initiates immune signaling through association with BAK1. The molecular mechanisms underlying the attenuation of FLS2 activation are largely unknown. We report that flagellin induces recruitment of two closely related U-box E3 ubiquitin ligases, PUB12 and PUB13, to FLS2 receptor complex in Arabidopsis. BAK1 phosphorylates PUB12 and PUB13 and is required for FLS2-PUB12/13 association. PUB12 and PUB13 polyubiquitinate FLS2 and promote flagellin-induced FLS2 degradation, and the pub12 and pub13 mutants displayed elevated immune responses to flagellin treatment. Our study has revealed a unique regulatory circuit of direct ubiquitination and turnover of FLS2 by BAK1-mediated phosphorylation and recruitment of specific E3 ligases for attenuation of immune signaling.
Project description:The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is capable of establishing severe and persistent infections in various eukaryotic hosts. It encodes a wide array of virulence factors and employs several strategies to evade immune detection. In the present study, we screened the Harvard Medical School transposon mutant library of P. aeruginosa PA14 for bacterial factors that modulate interleukin-8 responses in A549 human airway epithelial cells. We found that in addition to the previously identified alkaline protease AprA, the elastase LasB is capable of degrading exogenous flagellin under calcium-replete conditions and prevents flagellin-mediated immune recognition. Our results indicate that the production of two proteases with anti-flagellin activity provides a failsafe mechanism for P. aeruginosa to ensure the maintenance of protease-dependent immune-modulating functions.
Project description:Bacterial flagellin is important for intestinal immune homeostasis. Flagellins from most species activate Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5). The principal bacterial food-borne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni escapes TLR5 recognition, probably due to an alternate flagellin subunit structure. We investigated the molecular basis of TLR5 evasion by aiming to reconstitute TLR5 stimulating activity in live C. jejuni. Both native glycosylated C. jejuni flagellins (FlaA and FlaB) and recombinant proteins purified from Escherichia coli failed to activate NF-kappaB in HEK293 cells expressing TLR5. Introduction of multiple defined regions from Salmonella flagellin into C. jejuni FlaA via a recombinatorial approach revealed three regions critical for the activation of human and mouse TLR5, including a beta-hairpin structure not previously implicated in TLR5 recognition. Surprisingly, this domain was not required for the activation of chicken TLR5, indicating a selective requirement for the beta-hairpin in the recognition of mammalian TLR5. Expression of the active chimeric protein in C. jejuni resulted in secreted glycosylated flagellin that induced a potent TLR5 response. Overall, our results reveal a novel structural requirement for TLR5 recognition of bacterial flagellin and exclude flagellin glycosylation as an additional mechanism of bacterial evasion of the TLR5 response.
Project description:Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) play a key role in plant and animal innate immunity. PRR binding of their cognate ligand triggers a signaling network and activates an immune response. Activation of PRR signaling must be controlled prior to ligand binding to prevent spurious signaling and immune activation. Flagellin perception in Arabidopsis through FLAGELLIN-SENSITIVE 2 (FLS2) induces the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and immunity. However, the precise molecular mechanism that connects activated FLS2 to downstream MAPK cascades remains unknown. Here, we report the identification of a differentially phosphorylated MAP kinase kinase kinase that also interacts with FLS2. Using targeted proteomics and functional analysis, we show that MKKK7 negatively regulates flagellin-triggered signaling and basal immunity and this requires phosphorylation of MKKK7 on specific serine residues. MKKK7 attenuates MPK6 activity and defense gene expression. Moreover, MKKK7 suppresses the reactive oxygen species burst downstream of FLS2, suggesting that MKKK7-mediated attenuation of FLS2 signaling occurs through direct modulation of the FLS2 complex.
Project description:Plants and animals rely on innate immunity to prevent infections by detection of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) through pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs). The plant PRR FLS2, a leucine-rich repeat-receptor kinase, recognizes bacterial flagellin and initiates immune signaling by association with another leucine-rich repeat-receptor-like kinase, BAK1. It remains unknown how the FLS2/BAK1 receptor complex activates intracellular signaling cascades. Here we identified the receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase BIK1 that is rapidly phosphorylated upon flagellin perception, depending on both FLS2 and BAK1. BIK1 associates with FLS2 and BAK1 in vivo and in vitro. BIK1 is phosphorylated by BAK1, and BIK1 also directly phosphorylates BAK1 and FLS2 in vitro. The flagellin phosphorylation site Thr(237) of BIK1 is required for its phosphorylation on BAK1 and FLS2, suggesting that BIK1 is likely first phosphorylated upon flagellin perception and subsequently transphosphorylates FLS2/BAK1 to propagate flagellin signaling. Importantly, bik1 mutants are compromised in diverse flagellin-mediated responses and immunity to the nonpathogenic bacterial infection. Thus, BIK1 is an essential component in MAMP signal transduction, which links the MAMP receptor complex to downstream intracellular signaling.
Project description:Flagellin-sensing 2 (FLS2) is a leucine-rich repeat/transmembrane domain/protein kinase (LRR-RLK) that is the plant receptor for bacterial flagellin or the flagellin-derived flg22 peptide. Previous work has shown that after flg22 binding, FLS2 releases BIK1 kinase and homologs and associates with BAK1 kinase, and that FLS2 kinase activity is critical for FLS2 function. However, the detailed mechanisms for activation of FLS2 signaling remain unclear. The present study initially identified multiple FLS2 in vitro phosphorylation sites and found that Serine-938 is important for FLS2 function in vivo. FLS2-mediated immune responses are abolished in transgenic plants expressing FLS2(S938A), while the acidic phosphomimic mutants FLS2(S938D) and FLS2(S938E) conferred responses similar to wild-type FLS2. FLS2-BAK1 association and FLS2-BIK1 disassociation after flg22 exposure still occur with FLS2(S938A), demonstrating that flg22-induced BIK1 release and BAK1 binding are not sufficient for FLS2 activity, and that Ser-938 controls other aspects of FLS2 activity. Purified BIK1 still phosphorylated purified FLS2(S938A) and FLS2(S938D) mutant kinase domains in vitro. Phosphorylation of BIK1 and homologs after flg22 exposure was disrupted in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants expressing FLS2(S938A) or FLS2(D997A) (a kinase catalytic site mutant), but was normally induced in FLS2(S938D) plants. BIK1 association with FLS2 required a kinase-active FLS2, but FLS2-BAK1 association did not. Hence FLS2-BIK1 dissociation and FLS2-BAK1 association are not sufficient for FLS2-mediated defense activation, but the proposed FLS2 phosphorylation site Ser-938 and FLS2 kinase activity are needed both for overall defense activation and for appropriate flg22-stimulated phosphorylation of BIK1 and homologs.
Project description:Leptospira (L.) interrogans are invasive bacteria responsible for leptospirosis, a worldwide zoonosis. They possess two periplasmic endoflagellae that allow their motility. L. interrogans are stealth pathogens that escape the innate immune recognition of the NOD-like receptors NOD1/2, and the human Toll-like receptor (TLR)4, which senses peptidoglycan and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), respectively. TLR5 is another receptor of bacterial cell wall components, recognizing flagellin subunits. To study the contribution of TLR5 in the host defense against leptospires, we infected WT and TLR5 deficient mice with pathogenic L. interrogans and tracked the infection by in vivo live imaging of bioluminescent bacteria or by qPCR. We did not identify any protective or inflammatory role of murine TLR5 for controlling pathogenic Leptospira. Likewise, subsequent in vitro experiments showed that infections with different live strains of L. interrogans and L. biflexa did not trigger TLR5 signaling. However, unexpectedly, heat-killed bacteria stimulated human and bovine TLR5, but did not, or barely induced stimulation via murine TLR5. Abolition of TLR5 recognition required extensive boiling time of the bacteria or proteinase K treatment, showing an unusual high stability of the leptospiral flagellins. Interestingly, after using antimicrobial peptides to destabilize live leptospires, we detected TLR5 activity, suggesting that TLR5 could participate in the fight against leptospires in humans or cattle. Using different Leptospira strains with mutations in the flagellin proteins, we further showed that neither FlaA nor Fcp participated in the recognition by TLR5, suggesting a role for the FlaB. FlaB have structural homology to Salmonella FliC, and possess conserved residues important for TLR5 activation, as shown by in silico analyses. Accordingly, we found that leptospires regulate the expression of FlaB mRNA according to the growth phase in vitro, and that infection with L. interrogans in hamsters and in mice downregulated the expression of the FlaB, but not the FlaA subunits. Altogether, in contrast to different bacteria that modify their flagellin sequences to escape TLR5 recognition, our study suggests that the peculiar central localization and stability of the FlaB monomers in the periplasmic endoflagellae, associated with the downregulation of FlaB subunits in hosts, constitute an efficient strategy of leptospires to escape the TLR5 recognition and the induced immune response.
Project description:Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) signaling in response to flagellin is dispensable for inducing humoral immunity, but alterations of aa 89-96, the TLR5 binding site, significantly reduced the adjuvanticity of flagellin. These observations indicate that the underlying mechanism remains incompletely understood. Here, we found that the native form of Salmonella typhimurium aa 89-96-mutant flagellin extracted from flagella retains some TLR5 recognition activity, indicating that aa 89-96 is the primary, but not the only site that imparts TLR5 activity. Additionally, this mutation impaired the production of IL-1? and IL-18. Using TLR5KO mice, we found that aa 89-96 is critical for the humoral adjuvant effect, but this effect was independent of TLR5 activation triggered by this region of flagellin. In summary, our findings suggest that aa 89-96 of flagellin is not only the crucial site responsible for TLR5 recognition, but is also important for humoral immune adjuvanticity through a TLR5-independent pathway.
Project description:Plants must adapt to their environment and require mechanisms for sensing their surroundings and responding appropriately. An expanded family of more than 200 leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptor kinases (LRR-RKs) transduces fluctuating and often contradictory signals from the environment into changes in nuclear gene expression. Two LRR-RKs, BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1 (BRI1), a steroid receptor, and FLAGELLIN SENSITIVE 2 (FLS2), an innate immune receptor that recognizes bacterial flagellin, act cooperatively to partition necessary growth-defense trade-offs. BRI1 and FLS2 share common signaling components and slightly different activation mechanisms. BRI1 and FLS2 are paradigms for understanding the signaling mechanisms of LRR-containing receptors in plants.