Laboratory of Gut Inflammation and Infection Biology, Regional Centre for Biotechnology NCR Biotech Science Cluster 3rd Milestone, Faridabad-Gurgaon Expressway, Faridabad - 121 001 Haryana (NCR Delhi), India [Email]
Salmonella Typhimurium is an intracellular pathogen that causes gastroenteritis in humans. Aided by a battery of effector proteins, S. Typhimurium resides intracellularly in a specialized vesicle, called the Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV) that utilizes the host endocytic vesicular transport pathway (VTP). Here, we probed the possible role of SUMOylation, a post-translation modification pathway, in SCV biology. Proteome analysis by complex mass-spectrometry (MS/MS) revealed a dramatically altered SUMO-proteome (SUMOylome) in S. Typhimurium-infected cells. RAB7, a component of VTP, was key among several crucial proteins identified in our study. Detailed MS/MS assays, in vitro SUMOylation assays and structural docking analysis revealed SUMOylation of RAB7 (RAB7A) specifically at lysine 175. A SUMOylation-deficient RAB7 mutant (RAB7K175R) displayed longer half-life, was beneficial to SCV dynamics and functionally deficient. Collectively, the data revealed that RAB7 SUMOylation blockade by S. Typhimurium ensures availability of long-lived but functionally compromised RAB7, which was beneficial to the pathogen. Overall, this SUMOylation-dependent switch of RAB7 controlled by S. Typhimurium is an unexpected mode of VTP pathway regulation, and unveils a mechanism of broad interest well beyond Salmonella-host crosstalk. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.