The intracellular microbial sensor NLRP4 directs Rho-actin signaling to facilitate Group A <i>Streptococcus</i>-containing autophagosome-like vacuole formation

<p>Xenophagy, also known as antibacterial autophagy, functions as a crucial defense system that can utilize intracellular pattern recognition sensors, such as NLRP4, to recognize and selectively eliminate bacterial pathogens. However, little is known about how NLRP4 regulates xenophagy. Here, we report that NLRP4 binds ARHGDIA (Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor α) to regulate Rho GTPase signaling and facilitate actin-mediated xenophagy. Specifically, NLRP4 is recruited to Group A <i>Streptococcus</i> (GAS) and colocalizes with GAS-containing autophagosome-like vacuoles (GcAVs), where it regulates ARHGDIA-Rho GTPase recruitment to promote autophagosome formation. The interaction between NLRP4, ARHGDIA, and Rho GTPases is regulated by ARHGDIA Tyr156 phosphorylation, which acts as a gate to induce Rho-mediated xenophagy. Moreover, ARHGDIA and Rho GTPase are involved in actin-mediated ATG9A recruitment to phagophores, facilitating elongation to form autophagosomes. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that NLRP4 functions as a Rho receptor complex to direct actin dynamics regulating xenophagy.</p>