PLoS Computational Biology (Dec 2020)

Bacteria use structural imperfect mimicry to hijack the host interactome.

  • Natalia Sanchez de Groot,
  • Marc Torrent Burgas

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 16, no. 12
p. e1008395


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Bacteria use protein-protein interactions to infect their hosts and hijack fundamental pathways, which ensures their survival and proliferation. Hence, the infectious capacity of the pathogen is closely related to its ability to interact with host proteins. Here, we show that hubs in the host-pathogen interactome are isolated in the pathogen network by adapting the geometry of the interacting interfaces. An imperfect mimicry of the eukaryotic interfaces allows pathogen proteins to actively bind to the host's target while preventing deleterious effects on the pathogen interactome. Understanding how bacteria recognize eukaryotic proteins may pave the way for the rational design of new antibiotic molecules.