Sensing of pathogens by ubiquitination is critical for maintaining cytosolic sanctity. However, universal ubiquitination targets on bacteria, especially of proteinaceous origin, remain unidentified. Here, we unveil a novel strategy, involving recognition of degron-like motifs for identification of first protein-based ubiquitination substrates on phylogenetically distinct bacteria. Such motifs can form a new class of intra-cytosolic pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) as their incorporation enables identification of non-ubiquitin targets by host Ub-ligases. We find SCF
E3-ligase, supported by the regulatory kinase, GSK3β, is crucial for effective pathogen detection and clearance. This may explain the enhanced risk of infections in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia patients bearing FBXW7 mutations. We conclude that exploitation of such ubiquitous pathogen sensing strategy allows conservation of cellular resources and boost anti-microbial immunity.
One Sentence Summary
Ubiquitination of bacterial surface proteins fosters sensing and clearance of diverse pathogens