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Infect Immun. 2010 Dec;78(12):5011-21. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00152-10. Epub 2010 Sep 20.

EseG, an effector of the type III secretion system of Edwardsiella tarda, triggers microtubule destabilization.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543.


Edwardsiella tarda is a Gram-negative enteric pathogen that causes hemorrhagic septicemia in fish and both gastrointestinal and extraintestinal infections in humans. A type III secretion system (T3SS) was recently shown to contribute to pathogenesis, since deletions of various T3SS genes increased the 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) by about 1 log unit in the blue gourami infection model. In this study, we report EseG as the first identified effector protein of T3SS. EseG shares partial homology with two Salmonella T3SS effectors (SseG and SseF) over a conserved domain (amino acid residues 142 to 192). The secretion of EseG is dependent on a functional T3SS and, in particular, requires the chaperone EscB. Experiments using TEM-1 β-lactamase as a fluorescence-based reporter showed that EseG was translocated into HeLa cells at 35°C. Fractionation of infected HeLa cells demonstrated that EseG was localized to the host membrane fraction after translocation. EseG is able to disassemble microtubule structures when overexpressed in mammalian cells. This phenotype may require a conserved motif of EseG (EseG(142-192)), since truncated versions of EseG devoid of this motif lose their ability to cause microtubule destabilization. By demonstrating the function of EseG, our study contributes to the understanding of E. tarda pathogenesis. Moreover, the approach established in this study to identify type III effectors can be used to identify and characterize more type III and possible type VI effectors in Edwardsiella.

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