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PLoS One. 2009 Sep 10;4(9):e6994. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006994.

Comparative proteomic analysis of the PhoP regulon in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi versus Typhimurium.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



S. Typhi, a human-restricted Salmonella enterica serovar, causes a systemic intracellular infection in humans (typhoid fever). In comparison, S. Typhimurium causes gastroenteritis in humans, but causes a systemic typhoidal illness in mice. The PhoP regulon is a well studied two component (PhoP/Q) coordinately regulated network of genes whose expression is required for intracellular survival of S. enterica.


Using high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS), we examined the protein expression profiles of three sequenced S. enterica strains: S. Typhimurium LT2, S. Typhi CT18, and S. Typhi Ty2 in PhoP-inducing and non-inducing conditions in vitro and compared these results to profiles of phoP(-)/Q(-) mutants derived from S. Typhimurium LT2 and S. Typhi Ty2. Our analysis identified 53 proteins in S. Typhimurium LT2 and 56 proteins in S. Typhi that were regulated in a PhoP-dependent manner. As expected, many proteins identified in S. Typhi demonstrated concordant differential expression with a homologous protein in S. Typhimurium. However, three proteins (HlyE, STY1499, and CdtB) had no homolog in S. Typhimurium. HlyE is a pore-forming toxin. STY1499 encodes a stably expressed protein of unknown function transcribed in the same operon as HlyE. CdtB is a cytolethal distending toxin associated with DNA damage, cell cycle arrest, and cellular distension. Gene expression studies confirmed up-regulation of mRNA of HlyE, STY1499, and CdtB in S. Typhi in PhoP-inducing conditions.


This study is the first protein expression study of the PhoP virulence associated regulon using strains of Salmonella mutant in PhoP, has identified three Typhi-unique proteins (CdtB, HlyE and STY1499) that are not present in the genome of the wide host-range Typhimurium, and includes the first protein expression profiling of a live attenuated bacterial vaccine studied in humans (Ty800).

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