Alpha enolase 1 ubiquitination and degradation mediated by ehrlichia chaffeensis trp120 disrupts glycolytic flux and promotes infection

Bing Zhu, Jere W. McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Ehrlichia chaffeensis modulates numerous host cell processes, including gene transcription to promote infection of the mononuclear phagocyte. Modulation of these host cell processes is directed through E. chaffeensis effectors, including TRP120. We previously reported that TRP120 moonlights as a HECT E3 Ub ligase that ubiquitinates host cell transcription and fate regulators (PCGF5 and FBW7) to promote infection. In this study, we identified a novel TRP120 substrate and examined the relationship between TRP120 and α-enolase (ENO1), a metalloenzyme that catalyzes glycolytic pathway substrate dehydration. Immunofluorescence microscopy and coimmunoprecipitation demonstrated interaction between ENO1 and TRP120, and ubiquitination of ENO-1 by TRP120 was detected in vivo and in vitro. Further, ENO-1 degradation was observed during infection and was inhibited by the proteasomal inhibitor bortezomib. A direct role of TRP120 Ub ligase activity in ENO-1 degradation was demonstrated and confirmed by ectopic expression of TRP120 HECT Ub ligase catalytic site mutant. siRNA knockdown of ENO-1 coincided with increased E. chaffeensis infection and ENO-1 knockdown disrupted glycolytic flux by decreasing the levels of pyruvate and lactate that may contribute to changes in host cell metabolism that promote infection. In addition, we elucidated a functional role of TRP120 auto-ubiquitination as an activating event that facilitates the recruitment of the UbcH5 E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme. This investigation further expands the repertoire of TRP120 substrates and extends the potential role of TRP120 Ub ligase in infection to include metabolic reprogramming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number962
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Effector
  • Ehrlichia
  • HECT ligase
  • Tandem repeat protein
  • Ubiquitin
  • α-enolase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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