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Infect Immun. 2005 Jan;73(1):334-41.

Salmonella pathogenicity island 2-mediated overexpression of chimeric SspH2 proteins for simultaneous induction of antigen-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells.

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  • 1Max von Pettenkofer-Institut für Hygiene und Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Ludwig Maximilians Universität München, Pettenkoferstr. 9a, 80336 München, Germany.


Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium employs two different type III secretion systems (TTSS) encoded within Salmonella pathogenicity islands 1 and 2 (SPI1 and SPI2) for targeting of effector proteins into the cytosol of eukaryotic cells during different stages of the infection cycle. The SPI1 TTSS translocates virulence factors across the plasma membrane when the bacterium initially contacts the host cell. In contrast, the SPI2 TTSS functions to translocate proteins across the membrane of the Salmonella-containing vacuole and promotes intracellular survival and replication. The aim of the present study was to directly compare the potentials of SPI1 and SPI2 type III effector proteins to act as carrier molecules for a heterologous antigen. The p60 protein of Listeria monocytogenes was used as a model antigen to construct chimeric SopE2 (SPI1), SifA (SPI2), and SspH2 (SPI2) proteins. SPI1- and SPI2-dependent up- and down-regulation of hybrid gene expression led to sequential translocation of p60 fusion proteins into the cytosol of Salmonella-infected macrophages. Mice orally immunized with recombinant Salmonella strains expressing these hybrid proteins revealed comparable numbers of p60-specific CD8 T cells. However, only overexpression of translocated SspH2/p60 from a medium-copy-number vector induced simultaneous antigen-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses, suggesting that SspH2 is an attractive carrier molecule for foreign-protein delivery.

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