Pathogens find diverse niches for survival including inside a host cell where replication occurs in a relatively protective environment. Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a facultative intracellular pathogen that uses its type 3 secretion system 2 (T3SS2) to invade and replicate inside host cells. Analysis of the T3SS2 pathogenicity island encoding the T3SS2 appeared to lack a mechanism for egress of this bacterium from the invaded host cell. Using a combination of molecular tools, we found that VPA0226, a constitutively secreted lipase, is required for escape of V. parahaemolyticus from the host cells. This lipase must be delivered into the host cytoplasm where it preferentially uses fatty acids associated with innate immune response to esterify cholesterol, weakening the plasma membrane and allowing egress of the bacteria. This study reveals the resourcefulness of microbes and the interplay between virulence systems and host cell resources to evolve an ingenious scheme for survival and escape.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)