Identification of host regulators of Mycobacteriumtuberculosis phenotypes uncovers a role for the MMGT1-GPR156 lipid droplet axis in persistence.
The ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) to establish latency affects disease and response to treatment. The host factors that influence the establishment of latency remain elusive. We engineered a multi-fluorescent Mtb strain that reports survival, active replication, and stressed non-replication states and determined the host transcriptome of the infected macrophages in these states. Additionally, we conducted a genome-wide CRISPR screen to identify host factors that modulated the phenotypic state of Mtb. We validated hits in a phenotype-specific manner and prioritized membrane magnesium transporter 1 (MMGT1) for a detailed mechanistic investigation. Mtb infection of MMGT1-deficient macrophages promoted a switch to persistence, upregulated lipid metabolism genes, and accumulated lipid droplets during infection. Targeting triacylglycerol synthesis reduced both droplet formation and Mtb persistence. The orphan G protein-coupled receptor GPR156 is a key inducer of droplet accumulation in ΔMMGT1 cells. Our work uncovers the role of MMGT1-GPR156-lipid droplets in the induction of Mtb persistence.
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Cell host & microbe