The type III secretion effector NleF of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli activates NF-κB early during infection

Mitchell A. Pallett, Cedric N Berger, Jaclyn S. Pearson, Elizabeth L. Hartland, Gad Frankel

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The enteric pathogens enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli employ a type 3 secretion system (T3SS) to manipulate the host inflammatory response during infection. Previously, it has been reported that EPEC, in a T3SSdependent manner, induces an early proinflammatory response through activation of NF-κB via extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and protein kinase Cζ (PKCζ). However, the activation of NF-κB during infection has not yet been attributed to an effector. At later time points postinfection, NF-κB signaling is inhibited through the translocation of multiple effectors, including NleE and NleC. Here we report that the highly conserved non-LEE (locus of enterocyte effacement)-encoded effector F (NleF) shows both diffuse and mitochondrial localization during ectopic expression. Moreover, NleF induces the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 and the expression of interleukin 8 (IL-8) following ectopic expression and during EPEC infection. Furthermore, the proinflammatory activity and localization of NleF were dependent on the C-terminal amino acids LQCG. While the C-terminal domain of NleF has previously been shown to be essential for interaction with caspase-4, caspase-8, and caspase-9, the proinflammatory activity of NleF was independent of interaction with caspase-4, -8, or -9. In conclusion, EPEC, through the T3SS-dependent translocation of NleF, induces a proinflammatory response in an NF-κB-dependent manner in the early stages of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4878-4888
Number of pages11
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

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