BNIP3L-mediated mitophagy triggered by Brucella in host cells is required for bacterial egress

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The facultative intracellular pathogen Brucella abortus interacts with several organelles of the host cell to reach its replicative niche inside the endoplasmic reticulum. However, little is known about the interplay between the bacteria and the host cell mitochondria. Here, we showed that B. abortus triggers a strong mitochondrial network fragmentation accompanied by mitophagy and the formation of mitochondrial Brucella-containing vacuoles in the late steps of cellular infection. The expression of the mitophagy receptor BNIP3L induced by B. abortus is essential for these events and relies on the iron-dependent stabilization of the hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha. Functionally, BNIP3L-mediated mitophagy appears to be advantageous for bacterial exit of the host cell as BNIP3L depletion drastically reduced the number of reinfection events. Altogether, these findings highlight the intricate link between Brucella trafficking and the mitochondria during host cell infection.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press


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