Julian Pechstein

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B8 Functional analysis of Coxiella burnetii effector proteins

Principal investigator
Anja Lührmann

Mentor
Andreas Burkovski

The role of Coxiella burnetii effector protein AnkF in the course of infection

The pathogenic, Gram-negative bacterium C. burnetii is classified in the gamma subdivision within the class of Proteobacteria. C. burnetii causes Q-fever in humans, which may be an acute disease or develop into chronic persistence with potential fatal outcome. The natural reservoir includes wild- and domestic animals, including cattle, sheep as well as goats and infection in livestock results in economic losses. Transmission to humans occurs via inhalation of aerosols, contaminated dust particles or contact to animal excretions. C. burnetii infects initially alveolar mononuclear macrophages in the respiratory tract of humans. The acute form of Q-fever displays flu-like illness which may resolve over a short time period. However, chronic persistence associated with infection of further tissues may lead to severe endocarditis, pneumonia or hepatitis. How C. burnetii establishes and maintains its replicative niche is not well understood. However, bacterial protein synthesis is required, suggesting that bacterial proteins may directly influence the biogenesis of the C. burnetii-occupied vacuole. In agreement with this assumption, the type IV secretion system (T4SS) was shown to be essential for establishing a compartment permissive for replication. The T4SS is a multi-protein complex known to translocate bacterial effector proteins into the host cell to manipulate host cell pathways. Other bacteria such as Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Helicobacter pylori or Legionella pneumophila, use effector proteins secreted into the host cell by T4SS apparatus to subvert, interfere or hijack eukaryotic host cell processes, enabling efficient intracellular survival. Here we are focusing on the effector protein AnkF and its role during the course of infection by C. burnetii (Fig. 1). Particularly, the role of AnkF for the establishment of the replicative C. burnetii-containing vacuole will be analyzed.

Figure: Putative targets of C. burnetii T4SS-effector protein AnkF secreted into the host cell. Possible compartments and localization sites, at which AnkF might interact with the host cell or parasitophorous vacuole are shown in dotted lines.

 

Publications

 

 

Presentations

October 2016 8th Annual Retreat, Erlangen School of Molecular Communication, Schloss Schney, Lichtenfels, Germany
”Influence of the intermediate filament Vimentin on C. burnetii host cell invasion and vacuole biogenesis”
Poster
     
October 2015 2nd International SFB 796 Conference: Mechanisms of microbial host cell manipulation: From plants to humans, Erlangen, Germany
”The role of AnkF in biogenesis of the Coxiella burnetii parasitophorous vacuole”
Poster
     
September 2015

67th annual conference of the "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie" (DGHM, German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology), Germany
“The role of AnkF in biogenesis of the Coxiella burnetii parasitophorous vacuole”

Poster
     
July 2015

7th Annual Retreat, Erlangen School of Molecular Communication, Schloss Hirschberg, Beilngries, Germany
”The role of AnkF for trafficking of the Coxiella burnetii-containing vacuole”

Talk
     

 

Awards

Best Poster Award

67th annual conference of the ”Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie” (DGHM, German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology), Germany, September 2015
“The role of AnkF in biogenesis of the Coxiella burnetii parasitophorous vacuole”