Structural and functional characterization of legionella pneumophila effector mavl

Kevin Voth, Shivani Pasricha, Ivy Yeuk Wah Chung, Rachelia R. Wibawa, Engku Nuraishah Huda E. Zainudin, Elizabeth L. Hartland, Miroslaw Cygler

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Legionella pneumophila is a Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes Legionnaires' disease in elderly or immunocompromised individuals. This bacterium relies on the Dot/Icm (De-fective in organelle trafficking/Intracellular multiplication) Type IV Secretion System (T4SS) and a large (>330) set of effector proteins to colonize the host cell. The structural variability of these effec-tors allows them to disrupt many host processes. Herein, we report the crystal structure of MavL to 2.65 Å resolution. MavL adopts an ADP-ribosyltransferase (ART) fold and contains the distinctive ligand-binding cleft of ART proteins. Indeed, MavL binds ADP-ribose with Kd of 13 µM. Structural overlay of MavL with poly-(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolases (PARGs) revealed a pair of aspartate residues in MavL that align with the catalytic glutamates in PARGs. MavL also aligns with ADP-ribose “reader” proteins (proteins that recognize ADP-ribose). Since no glycohydrolase activity was ob-served when incubated in the presence of ADP-ribosylated PARP1, MavL may play a role as a signaling protein that binds ADP-ribose. An interaction between MavL and the mammalian ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBE2Q1 was revealed by yeast two-hybrid and co-immunoprecipitation ex-periments. This work provides structural and molecular insights to guide biochemical studies aimed at elucidating the function of MavL. Our findings support the notion that ubiquitination and ADP-ribosylation are global modifications exploited by L. pneumophila.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1802
Number of pages18
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • ADP-ribosyltransferase fold
  • Cellular localization
  • Crystal structure
  • Legionella effector
  • Protein-protein interactions

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