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      Cytolethal Distending Toxins Require Components of the ER-Associated Degradation Pathway for Host Cell Entry


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          Intracellular acting protein exotoxins produced by bacteria and plants are important molecular determinants that drive numerous human diseases. A subset of these toxins, the cytolethal distending toxins (CDTs), are encoded by several Gram-negative pathogens and have been proposed to enhance virulence by allowing evasion of the immune system. CDTs are trafficked in a retrograde manner from the cell surface through the Golgi apparatus and into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) before ultimately reaching the host cell nucleus. However, the mechanism by which CDTs exit the ER is not known. Here we show that three central components of the host ER associated degradation (ERAD) machinery, Derlin-2 (Derl2), the E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase Hrd1, and the AAA ATPase p97, are required for intoxication by some CDTs. Complementation of Derl2-deficient cells with Derl2:Derl1 chimeras identified two previously uncharacterized functional domains in Derl2, the N-terminal 88 amino acids and the second ER-luminal loop, as required for intoxication by the CDT encoded by Haemophilus ducreyi (Hd-CDT). In contrast, two motifs required for Derlin-dependent retrotranslocation of ERAD substrates, a conserved WR motif and an SHP box that mediates interaction with the AAA ATPase p97, were found to be dispensable for Hd-CDT intoxication. Interestingly, this previously undescribed mechanism is shared with the plant toxin ricin. These data reveal a requirement for multiple components of the ERAD pathway for CDT intoxication and provide insight into a Derl2-dependent pathway exploited by retrograde trafficking toxins.

          Author Summary

          Cytolethal distending toxins (CDTs) are produced by several bacterial pathogens and increase the ability of these bacteria to cause disease. After being taken up by host cells, CDTs are trafficked to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where they must translocate across the ER membrane to gain access to their intracellular target; however, this translocation process is poorly understood for CDTs. Here we provide evidence that CDTs require components of the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway, a normal cellular process utilized to translocate terminally misfolded ER lumenal and membrane proteins across the ER membrane for degradation in the cytosol. Deletion of a key member of this pathway, Derl2, makes cells resistant to multiple CDTs. Interestingly, two domains within Derl2 which are required for ERAD of misfolded proteins are dispensable for intoxication by CDT. Further, we report two previously uncharacterized domains within Derl2 that are each required for intoxication. Consistent with a role of Derl2, abrogation of two other members of the ERAD pathway, Hrd1 and p97, results in retention of CDT in the ER and resistance to intoxication. Taken together, these data provide novel insight into how CDTs exit the ER and therefore gain access to their cellular targets.

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          Most cited references40

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          A membrane protein complex mediates retro-translocation from the ER lumen into the cytosol.

          Elimination of misfolded proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by retro-translocation is an important physiological adaptation to ER stress. This process requires recognition of a substrate in the ER lumen and its subsequent movement through the membrane by the cytosolic p97 ATPase. Here we identify a p97-interacting membrane protein complex in the mammalian ER that links these two events. The central component of the complex, Derlin-1, is a homologue of Der1, a yeast protein whose inactivation prevents the elimination of misfolded luminal ER proteins. Derlin-1 associates with different substrates as they move through the membrane, and inactivation of Derlin-1 in C. elegans causes ER stress. Derlin-1 interacts with US11, a virally encoded ER protein that specifically targets MHC class I heavy chains for export from the ER, as well as with VIMP, a novel membrane protein that recruits the p97 ATPase and its cofactor.
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            Haploid genetic screens in human cells identify host factors used by pathogens.

            Loss-of-function genetic screens in model organisms have elucidated numerous biological processes, but the diploid genome of mammalian cells has precluded large-scale gene disruption. We used insertional mutagenesis to develop a screening method to generate null alleles in a human cell line haploid for all chromosomes except chromosome 8. Using this approach, we identified host factors essential for infection with influenza and genes encoding important elements of the biosynthetic pathway of diphthamide, which are required for the cytotoxic effects of diphtheria toxin and exotoxin A. We also identified genes needed for the action of cytolethal distending toxin, including a cell-surface protein that interacts with the toxin. This approach has both conceptual and practical parallels with genetic approaches in haploid yeast.
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              Identification of the cellular receptor for anthrax toxin.

              The tripartite toxin secreted by Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, helps the bacterium evade the immune system and can kill the host during a systemic infection. Two components of the toxin enzymatically modify substrates within the cytosol of mammalian cells: oedema factor (OF) is an adenylate cyclase that impairs host defences through a variety of mechanisms including inhibiting phagocytosis; lethal factor (LF) is a zinc-dependent protease that cleaves mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase and causes lysis of macrophages. Protective antigen (PA), the third component, binds to a cellular receptor and mediates delivery of the enzymatic components to the cytosol. Here we describe the cloning of the human PA receptor using a genetic complementation approach. The receptor, termed ATR (anthrax toxin receptor), is a type I membrane protein with an extracellular von Willebrand factor A domain that binds directly to PA. In addition, a soluble version of this domain can protect cells from the action of the toxin.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS Pathog
                PLoS Pathog
                PLoS Pathogens
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                July 2014
                31 July 2014
                : 10
                : 7
                : e1004295
                [1 ]Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States of America
                [2 ]Department of Microbiology, Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Urbana, Illinois, United States of America
                [3 ]California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States of America
                Yale University School of Medicine, United States of America
                Author notes

                The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: AE SDD BT AG RD SRB KAB. Performed the experiments: AE SDD EJKK BT AG JCK RD. Analyzed the data: AE SDD EJKK BT AG JCK RD SRB KAB. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: RD. Wrote the paper: AE BT AG SRB KAB.


                Current address: Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America

                Copyright @ 2014

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                : 29 October 2013
                : 23 June 2014
                Page count
                Pages: 13
                This work was supported by the US National Institutes of Health (T32DE007296 and F31DE022485 to AE and GM098756 to KAB and SRB). Flow cytometry was performed in the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and Center for AIDS Research Flow Cytometry Core Facility that is supported by National Institutes of Health awards CA-16042 and AI-28697, and by the JCCC, the UCLA AIDS Institute, and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Gram Negative Bacteria
                Medical Microbiology
                Microbial Pathogens
                Bacterial Pathogens
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
                Host-Pathogen Interactions

                Infectious disease & Microbiology
                Infectious disease & Microbiology


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