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Nutrition and Bipartite Metabolism of Intracellular Pathogens

Best, Ashley, Abu Kwaik, Yousef
Trends in microbiology 2019 v.27 no.6 pp. 550-561
Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Chlamydia trachomatis, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, Legionella pneumophila, Listeria monocytogenes, Shigella flexneri, autophagy, hosts, metabolism, metabolites, nutrients, nutrition, pathogens, phenotype, protein degradation, pyruvic acid, therapeutics
The host is a nutrient-rich niche for microbial pathogens, but one that comes with obstacles and challenges. Many intracellular pathogens like Legionella pneumophila, Coxiella burnetii, Listeria monocytogenes, and Chlamydia trachomatis have developed bipartite metabolism within their hosts. This style of metabolic regulation enables pathogen sensing of specific nutrients to engage them into catabolic and anabolic processes, and contributes to temporal and spatial pathogen phenotypic modulation. Not only have intracellular pathogens adapted their metabolism to the host, they have also acquired idiosyncratic strategies to exploit host nutritional supplies and intercept metabolites. Francisella tularensis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum alter host autophagy, Shigella flexneri intercepts all host pyruvate, while L. pneumophila induces host protein degradation and blocks protein translation. Strategies of pathogen manipulation of host nutrients could serve as therapeutic targets.