Xyloglucan processing machinery in Xanthomonas pathogens and its role in the transcriptional activation of virulence factors
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Xyloglucans are highly substituted and recalcitrant polysaccharides found in the primary cell walls of vascular plants, acting as a barrier against pathogens. Here, we reveal that the diverse and economically relevant Xanthomonas bacteria are endowed with a xyloglucan depolymerization machinery that is linked to pathogenesis. Using the citrus canker pathogen as a model organism, we show that this system encompasses distinctive glycoside hydrolases, a modular xyloglucan acetylesterase and specific membrane transporters, demonstrating that plant-associated bacteria employ distinct molecular strategies from commensal gut bacteria to cope with xyloglucans. Notably, the sugars released by this system elicit the expression of several key virulence factors, including the type III secretion system, a membrane-embedded apparatus to deliver effector proteins into the host cells. Together, these findings shed light on the molecular mechanisms underpinning the intricate enzymatic machinery of Xanthomonas to depolymerize xyloglucans and uncover a role for this system in signaling pathways driving pathogenesis.
Vieira PS., Bonfim IM., Araujo EA., Melo RR., Lima AR., Fessel MR., et al. Xyloglucan processing machinery in Xanthomonas pathogens and its role in the transcriptional activation of virulence factors. Nat. Commun.. 2021 June;12:4049. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-24277-4.
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