A Burkholderia Type VI Effector Deamidates Rho GTPases to Activate the Pyrin Inflammasome and Trigger Inflammation

Daniel F Aubert, Hao Xu, Jieling Yang, Xuyan Shi, Wenqing Gao, Lin Li, Fabiana Bisaro, She Chen, Miguel A Valvano, Feng Shao
Cell Host & Microbe 2016 May 11, 19 (5): 664-74
Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic pathogen of the cystic fibrosis lung that elicits a strong inflammatory response. B. cenocepacia employs a type VI secretion system (T6SS) to survive in macrophages by disarming Rho-type GTPases, causing actin cytoskeletal defects. Here, we identified TecA, a non-VgrG T6SS effector responsible for actin disruption. TecA and other bacterial homologs bear a cysteine protease-like catalytic triad, which inactivates Rho GTPases by deamidating a conserved asparagine in the GTPase switch-I region. RhoA deamidation induces caspase-1 inflammasome activation, which is mediated by the familial Mediterranean fever disease protein Pyrin. In mouse infection, the deamidase activity of TecA is necessary and sufficient for B. cenocepacia-triggered lung inflammation and also protects mice from lethal B. cenocepacia infection. Therefore, Burkholderia TecA is a T6SS effector that modifies a eukaryotic target through an asparagine deamidase activity, which in turn elicits host cell death and inflammation through activation of the Pyrin inflammasome.

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