Integrating chemical and genetic silencing strategies to identify host kinase-phosphatase inhibitor networks that control bacterial infection

Harald M H G Albers, Coenraad Kuijl, Jeroen Bakker, Loes Hendrickx, Sharida Wekker, Nadha Farhou, Nora Liu, Bernat Blasco-Moreno, Tiziana Scanu, Jeroen den Hertog, Patrick Celie, Huib Ovaa, Jacques Neefjes

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Every year three million people die as a result of bacterial infections, and this number may further increase due to resistance to current antibiotics. These antibiotics target almost all essential bacterial processes, leaving only a few new targets for manipulation. The host proteome has many more potential targets for manipulation in order to control bacterial infection, as exemplified by the observation that inhibiting the host kinase Akt supports the elimination of different intracellular bacteria including Salmonella and M. tuberculosis. If host kinases are involved in the control of bacterial infections, phosphatases could be as well. Here we present an integrated small interference RNA and small molecule screen to identify host phosphatase-inhibitor combinations that control bacterial infection. We define host phosphatases inhibiting intracellular growth of Salmonella and identify corresponding inhibitors for the dual specificity phosphatases DUSP11 and 27. Pathway analysis places many kinases and phosphatases controlling bacterial infection in an integrated pathway centered around Akt. This network controls host cell metabolism, survival, and growth and bacterial survival and reflect a natural host cell response to bacterial infection. Inhibiting two enzyme classes with opposite activities-kinases and phosphatases-may be a new strategy to overcome infections by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-22
Number of pages9
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2014


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cell Line
  • Dual-Specificity Phosphatases
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Gene Silencing
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Salmonella Infections
  • Salmonella typhimurium
  • Small Molecule Libraries


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating chemical and genetic silencing strategies to identify host kinase-phosphatase inhibitor networks that control bacterial infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this