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Infect Immun. Oct 1997; 65(10): 4005–4010.
PMCID: PMC175575

Secretion of Ipa proteins by Shigella flexneri: inducer molecules and kinetics of activation.

Abstract

The type III Mxi-Spa secretion machinery of Shigella flexneri is responsible for secretion of Ipa proteins, which are involved in the entry of bacteria into epithelial cells. Ipa proteins accumulate within bacteria growing in laboratory media, and their secretion is activated upon contact of bacteria with eukaryotic cells. In this study, we have identified a group of chemical compounds, including Congo red, Evans blue, and direct orange, which are able to induce secretion of Ipa proteins by bacteria suspended in phosphate-buffered saline. Parameters of kinetics of activation of Ipa secretion by Congo red were determined by measuring by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay the amount of IpaC secreted and by investigating the increase in susceptibility of Ipa proteins to proteinase K degradation. Ipa secretion occurred at 37 degrees C, was obtained with 5 to 10 microM Congo red, and was complete within 30 min. In addition, activation of Ipa secretion by Congo red was observed with bacteria harvested throughout the exponential phase of growth but not with bacteria in the stationary phase. The interactions of Congo red and Congo red-related compounds with the Mxi-Spa secretion apparatus might be specific hydrophobic interactions similar to those involved in binding of Congo red to amyloid proteins.

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Selected References

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