Manipulation of host phosphoinositide lipids has emerged as a key survival strategy utilized by pathogenic bacteria to establish and maintain a replication-permissive compartment within eukaryotic host cells. The human pathogen, Legionella pneumophila, infects and proliferates within the lung’s innate immune cells causing severe pneumonia termed Legionnaires’ disease. This pathogen has evolved strategies to manipulate specific host components to construct its intracellular niche termed the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV). Paramount to LCV biogenesis and maintenance is the spatiotemporal regulation of phosphoinositides, important eukaryotic lipids involved in cell signaling and membrane trafficking. Through a specialized secretion system, L. pneumophila translocates multiple proteins that target phosphoinositides in order to escape endolysosomal degradation. By specifically binding phosphoinositides, these proteins can anchor to the cytosolic surface of the LCV or onto specific host membrane compartments, to ultimately stimulate or inhibit encounters with host organelles. Here, we describe the bacterial proteins involved in binding and/or altering host phosphoinositide dynamics to support intracellular survival of L. pneumophila.
Part of the book: Pathogenic Bacteria