Pseudomonas aeruginosa ExoS Induces Intrinsic Apoptosis in Target Host Cells in a Manner That is Dependent on its GAP Domain Activity

Amber Kaminski, Kajal H. Gupta, Josef W. Goldufsky, Ha Won Lee, Vineet Gupta, Sasha H. Shafikhani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen that causes serious infections in immunocompromised individuals and cystic fibrosis patients. ExoS and ExoT are two homologous bifunctional Type III Secretion System (T3SS) virulence factors that induce apoptosis in target host cells. They possess a GTPase Activating Protein (GAP) domain at their N-termini, which share ~76% homology, and an ADP-ribosyltransferase (ADPRT) domain at their C-termini, which target non-overlapping substrates. Both the GAP and the ADPRT domains contribute to ExoT’s cytotoxicity in target epithelial cells, whereas, ExoS-induced apoptosis is reported to be primarily due to its ADPRT domain. In this report, we demonstrate that ExoS/GAP domain is both necessary and sufficient to induce mitochondrial apoptosis. Our data demonstrate that intoxication with ExoS/GAP domain leads to enrichment of Bax and Bim into the mitochondrial outer-membrane, disruption of mitochondrial membrane and release of and cytochrome c into the cytosol, which activates initiator caspase-9 and effector caspase-3, that executes cellular death. We posit that the contribution of the GAP domain in ExoS-induced apoptosis was overlooked in prior studies due to its slower kinetics of cytotoxicity as compared to ADPRT. Our data clarify the field and reveal a novel virulence function for ExoS/GAP as an inducer of apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14047
JournalScientific reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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