The amoebal MAP kinase response to Legionella pneumophila is regulated by DupA

Zhiru Li, Aisling S Dugan, Gareth Bloomfield, Jason Skelton, Alasdair Ivens, Vicki Losick, Ralph R Isberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum can support replication of Legionella pneumophila. Here we identify the dupA gene, encoding a putative tyrosine kinase/dual-specificity phosphatase, in a screen for D. discoideum mutants altered in allowing L. pneumophila intracellular replication. Inactivation of dupA resulted in depressed L. pneumophila growth and sustained hyperphosphorylation of the amoebal MAP kinase ERK1, consistent with loss of a phosphatase activity. Bacterial challenge of wild-type amoebae induced dupA expression and resulted in transiently increased ERK1 phosphorylation, suggesting that dupA and ERK1 are part of a response to bacteria. Indeed, over 500 of the genes misregulated in the dupA(-) mutant were regulated in response to L. pneumophila infection, including some thought to have immune-like functions. MAP kinase phosphatases are known to be highly upregulated in macrophages challenged with L. pneumophila. Thus, DupA may regulate a MAP kinase response to bacteria that is conserved from amoebae to mammals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-67
Number of pages15
JournalCell Host & Microbe
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2009


  • Legionella pneumophila
  • Animals
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Dictyostelium
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions


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