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Cryo-ET of a human GBP coatomer governing cell-autonomous innate immunity to infection

By John D. MacMicking, Shiwei Zhu, Clinton J Bradfield, Agnieszka Maminska, Euisoon Park, Baehoon Kim, Pradeep Kumar, Shuai Huang, Yongdeng Zhang, Joerg Bewersdorf

Posted 27 Aug 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.08.26.457804

All living organisms deploy cell-autonomous defenses to combat infection. In plants and animals, these activities generate large supramolecular complexes that recruit immune proteins for protection. Here, we solve the native structure of a massive antimicrobial complex generated by polymerization of 30,000 human guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs) over the entire surface of virulent bacteria. Construction of this giant nanomachine takes ~1-3 minutes, remains stable for hours, and acts as a cytokine and cell death signaling platform atop the coated bacterium. Cryo-ET of this coatomer revealed thousands of human GBP1 molecules undergo ~260 Angstrom insertion into the bacterial outer membrane, triggering lipopolysaccharide release that activates co-assembled caspase-4. Together, our results provide a quasi-atomic view of how the GBP coatomer mobilizes cytosolic immunity to combat infection in humans.

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