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Shigella hijacks the exocyst to cluster macropinosomes for efficient vacuolar escape

by Yuen-Yan Chang, Virginie Stévenin, Magalie Duchateau, Quentin Giai Gianetto, Veronique Hourdel, Cristina Dias Rodrigues, Mariette Matondo, Norbert Reiling, Jost Enninga

Shigella flexneri invades host cells by entering within a bacteria-containing vacuole (BCV). In order to establish its niche in the host cytosol, the bacterium ruptures its BCV. Contacts between S. flexneri BCV and infection-associated macropinosomes (IAMs) formed in situ have been reported to enhance BCV disintegration. The mechanism underlying S. flexneri vacuolar escape remains however obscure. To decipher the molecular mechanism priming the communication between the IAMs and S. flexneri BCV, we performed mass spectrometry-based analysis of the magnetically purified IAMs from S. flexneri-infected cells. While proteins involved in host recycling and exocytic pathways were significantly enriched at the IAMs, we demonstrate more precisely that the S. flexneri type III effector protein IpgD mediates the recruitment of the exocyst to the IAMs through the Rab8/Rab11 pathway. This recruitment results in IAM clustering around S. flexneri BCV. More importantly, we reveal that IAM clustering subsequently facilitates an IAM-mediated unwrapping of the ruptured vacuole membranes from S. flexneri, enabling the naked bacterium to be ready for intercellular spread via actin-based motility. Taken together, our work untangles the molecular cascade of S. flexneri-driven host trafficking subversion at IAMs to develop its cytosolic lifestyle, a crucial step en route for infection progression at cellular and tissue level.

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