Chromosome-encoded IpaH ubiquitin ligases indicate non-human enteroinvasive Escherichia

Natalia O. Dranenko, Maria N. Tutukina, Mikhail S. Gelfand, Fyodor A. Kondrashov, Olga O. Bochkareva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Until recently, Shigella and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli were thought to be primate-restricted pathogens. The base of their pathogenicity is the type 3 secretion system (T3SS) encoded by the pINV virulence plasmid, which facilitates host cell invasion and subsequent proliferation. A large family of T3SS effectors, E3 ubiquitin-ligases encoded by the ipaH genes, have a key role in the Shigella pathogenicity through the modulation of cellular ubiquitination that degrades host proteins. However, recent genomic studies identified ipaH genes in the genomes of Escherichia marmotae, a potential marmot pathogen, and an E. coli extracted from fecal samples of bovine calves, suggesting that non-human hosts may also be infected by these strains, potentially pathogenic to humans. We performed a comparative genomic study of the functional repertoires in the ipaH gene family in Shigella and enteroinvasive Escherichia from human and predicted non-human hosts. We found that fewer than half of Shigella genomes had a complete set of ipaH genes, with frequent gene losses and duplications that were not consistent with the species tree and nomenclature. Non-human host IpaH proteins had a diverse set of substrate-binding domains and, in contrast to the Shigella proteins, two variants of the NEL C-terminal domain. Inconsistencies between strains phylogeny and composition of effectors indicate horizontal gene transfer between E. coli adapted to different hosts. These results provide a framework for understanding of ipaH-mediated host-pathogens interactions and suggest a need for a genomic study of fecal samples from diseased animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6868
Number of pages1
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2022


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