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Nck adaptors, besides promoting N-WASP mediated actin-nucleation activity at pedestals, influence the cellular levels of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Tir effector

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Brendan KennyORCiD


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Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) binding to human intestinal cells triggers the formation of disease-associated actin rich structures called pedestals. The latter process requires the delivery, via a Type 3 secretion system, of the translocated Intimin receptor (Tir) protein into the host plasma membrane where binding of a host kinase-modified form to the bacterial surface protein Intimin triggers pedestal formation. Tir-Intimin interaction recruits the Nck adaptor to a Tir tyrosine phosphorylated residue where it activates neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP); initiating the major pathway to actin polymerization mediated by the actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex. Previous studies with Nck-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) identified a key role for Nck in pedestal formation, presumed to reflect a lack of N-WASP activation. Here, we show the defect relates to reduced amounts of Tir within Nck-deficient cells. Indeed, Tir delivery and, thus, pedestal formation defects were much greater for MEFs than HeLa (human epithelial) cells. Crucially, the levels of two other effectors (EspB/EspF) within Nck-deficient MEFs were not reduced unlike that of Map (Mitochondrial associated protein) which, like Tir, requires CesT chaperone function for efficient delivery. Interestingly, drugs blocking various host protein degradation pathways failed to increase Tir cellular levels unlike an inhibitor of deacetylase activity (Trichostatin A; TSA). Treatments with TSA resulted in significant recovery of Tir levels, potentiation of actin polymerization and improvement in bacterial attachment to cells. Our findings have important implications for the current model of Tir-mediated actin polymerization and opens new lines of research in this area.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nieto-Pelegrin E, Kenny B, Martinez-Quiles N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cell Adhesion & Migration

Year: 2014

Volume: 8

Issue: 4

Pages: 404-417

Print publication date: 20/12/2014

Online publication date: 29/10/2014

Acceptance date: 26/05/2014

ISSN (print): 1933-6918

ISSN (electronic): 1933-6926

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc.


DOI: 10.4161/19336918.2014.969993


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Funder referenceFunder name
Complutense University
01754/2008Fundacion Medica Mutua Madrilena
FIS PS09/0080Instituto de Salud Carlos III