Virulence of Agrobacterium tumefaciens requires lipid homeostasis mediated by the lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol hydrolase AcvB.
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AuthorsGroenewold, Maike K
Heinz, Dirk W
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAgrobacterium tumefaciens transfers oncogenic T-DNA via the type IV secretion system (T4SS) into plants causing tumor formation. The acvB gene encodes a virulence factor of unknown function required for plant transformation. Here we specify AcvB as a periplasmic lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol (L-PG) hydrolase, which modulates L-PG homeostasis. Through functional characterization of recombinant AcvB variants, we showed that the C-terminal domain of AcvB (residues 232-456) is sufficient for full enzymatic activity and defined key residues for catalysis. Absence of the hydrolase resulted in ~10-fold increase in L-PG in Agrobacterium membranes and abolished T-DNA transfer and tumor formation. Overproduction of the L-PG synthase gene (lpiA) in wild-type A. tumefaciens resulted in a similar increase in the L-PG content (~7-fold) and a virulence defect even in the presence of intact AcvB. These results suggest that elevated L-PG amounts (either by overproduction of the synthase or absence of the hydrolase) are responsible for the virulence phenotype. Gradually increasing the L-PG content by complementation with different acvB variants revealed that cellular L-PG levels above 3% of total phospholipids interfere with T-DNA transfer. Cumulatively, this study identified AcvB as a novel virulence factor required for membrane lipid homeostasis and T-DNA transfer.
CitationMol Microbiol. 2019 Jan;111(1):269-286. doi: 10.1111/mmi.14154. Epub 2018 Nov 14.
AffiliationHZI, Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig Germany.
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