During infection, intracellular bacterial pathogens translocate a variety of effectors into host cells that modify host membrane trafficking for their benefit. We found a self-organizing system consisting of a bacterial phosphoinositide kinase and its opposing phosphatase that formed spatiotemporal patterns, including traveling waves, to remodel host cellular membranes. The Legionella effector MavQ, a phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase, was targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). MavQ and the Legionella PI 3-phosphatase SidP, even in the absence of other bacterial components, drove rapid PI 3- phosphate turnover on the ER and spontaneously formed traveling waves that spread along ER subdomains inducing vesicle and tubule budding. Thus, bacteria can exploit a self-organizing membranetargeting mechanism to hijack host cellular structures for survival.
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