Obligate intracellular bacteria that replicate in the cytoplasm of host endothelial cells include Rickettsia prowazekii, Rickettsia rickettsii, and Orientia tsutsugamushi (etiologic agents of epidemic typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and scrub typhus, respectively). Residing in specialized vacuolar compartments are Anaplasma phagocyophilum and Ehrlichia chaffensis (agents of febrile illnesses that have tropisms for neutrophils and monocytes, respectively) and Chlamydia trachomatis, which targets mucosal epithelia and causes blinding trachoma and sexually transmitted diseases.... The absolute reliance of obligates on a eucaryotic host cell for growth imposes significant experimental constraints, not the least of which is difficulty in establishing pathogen genetic systems. However, C. burnetii was recently liberated from its host cell by a medium that supports axenic (host cell–free) growth
Many plant pathogens subvert host immunity by injecting compositionally diverse but functionally similar repertoires of cytoplasmic effector proteins. The bacterial pathogenPseudomonas syringae is a model for exploring the functional structure of such repertoires. The pangenome of P. syringae encodes 57 families of effectors injected by the type III secretion system. Distribution of effector genes among phylogenetically diverse strains reveals a small set of core effectors targeting antimicrobial vesicle trafficking and a much larger set of variable effectors targeting kinase-based recognition processes. Complete disassembly of the 28-effector repertoire of a model strain and reassembly of a minimal functional repertoire reveals the importance of simultaneously attacking both processes. These observations, coupled with growing knowledge of effector targets in plants, support a model for coevolving molecular dialogs between effector repertoires and plant immune systems that emphasizes mutually-driven expansion of the components governing recognition.
Scooped from: Annual Review of Phytopathology, 2013 Authors: Xiu-Fang Xin and Sheng Yang He
Summary: Since the early 1980s, various strains of the gram-negative bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae have been used as models for understanding plant-bacterial interactions. In 1991, a P. syringae pathovar tomato (Pst) strain, DC3000, was reported to infect not only its natural host tomato but also Arabidopsis in the laboratory, a finding that spurred intensive efforts in the subsequent two decades to characterize the molecular mechanisms by which this strain causes disease in plants. Genomic analysis shows that Pst DC3000 carries a large repertoire of potential virulence factors, including proteinaceous effectors that are secreted through the type III secretion system and a polyketide phytotoxin called coronatine, which structurally mimics the plant hormone jasmonate ( JA). Study of Pst DC3000 pathogenesis has not only provided several conceptual advances in understanding how a bacterial pathogen employs type III effectors to suppress plant immune responses and promote disease susceptibility but has also facilitated the discovery of the immune function of stomata and key components of JA signaling in plants. The concepts derived from the study of Pst DC3000 pathogenesis may prove useful in understanding pathogenesis mechanisms of other plant pathogens.
Microbial access to host nutrients is a fundamental aspect of infectious diseases. Pathogens face complex dynamic nutritional host microenvironments that change with increasing inflammation and local hypoxia. Since the host can actively limit microbial access to nutrient supply, pathogens have evolved various metabolic adaptations to successfully exploit available host nutrients for proliferation. Recent studies have unraveled an emerging paradigm that we propose to designate as ‘nutritional virulence’. This paradigm is based on specific virulence mechanisms that target major host biosynthetic and degradation pathways (proteasomes, autophagy and lysosomes) or nutrient-rich sources, such as glutathione, to enhance host supply of limiting nutrients, such as cysteine. Although Cys is the most limiting cellular amino acid, it is a metabolically favourable source of carbon and energy for various pathogens that are auxotrophic for Cys but utilize idiosyncratic nutritional virulence strategies to generate a gratuitous supply of host Cys. Therefore, proliferation of some intracellular pathogens is restricted by a host nutritional rheostat regulated by certain limiting amino acids, and pathogens have evolved idiosyncratic strategies to short circuit the host nutritional rheostat. Deciphering mechanisms of microbial ‘nutritional virulence’ and metabolism in vivo will facilitate identification of novel microbialand host targets for treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. Host–pathogen synchronization of amino acid auxotrophy indicates that this nutritional synchronization has been a major driving force in the evolution of many intracellular bacterial pathogens.
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