Mito-xenophagic killing of bacteria is coordinated by a metabolic switch in dendritic cells
Chlamydiae are bacterial pathogens that grow in vacuolar inclusions. Dendritic cells (DCs) disintegrate these compartments, thereby eliminating the microbes, through auto/xenophagy, which also promotes chlamydial antigen presentation via MHC I. Here, we show that TNF-α controls this pathway by driving cytosolic phospholipase (cPLA)2-mediated arachidonic acid (AA) production. AA then impairs mitochondrial function, which disturbs the development and integrity of these energy-dependent parasitic inclusions, while a simultaneous metabolic switch towards aerobic glycolysis promotes DC survival. Tubulin deacetylase/autophagy regulator HDAC6 associates with disintegrated inclusions, thereby further disrupting their subcellular localisation and stability. Bacterial remnants are decorated with defective mitochondria, mito-aggresomal structures, and components of the ubiquitin/autophagy machinery before they are degraded via mito-xenophagy. The mechanism depends on cytoprotective HSP25/27, the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin and HDAC6 and promotes chlamydial antigen generation for presentation on MHC I. We propose that this novel mito-xenophagic pathway linking innate and adaptive immunity is critical for effective DC-mediated anti-bacterial resistance.