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Microb Pathog. 2000 Feb;28(2):59-70.

The Salmonella YopJ-homologue AvrA does not possess YopJ-like activity.

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Center for Genomic Research, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, 171 77, Sweden.


The YopJ protein of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis inhibits several eukaryotic signalling pathways that are normally activated in cells following their contact with bacteria. Salmonella encodes a protein, AvrA, that is secreted by the typeIII inv/spa secretion system which is clearly homologous to YopJ (56% identical, 87% similarity). Since AvrA and YopJs similarity also encompassed a region of YopJ that had previously been shown to be critical for its biological activity, we were interested whether AvrA and YopJ provoked similar responses in eukaryotic cells. Two different approaches were used to determine whether AvrA possesses YopJ-like activity in modulating cytokine expression or killing macrophages. An avrA strain of Salmonella dublin was constructed and its activity was compared to an isogenic wildtype counterpart in cellular response assays. In a complementary approach, AvrA was expressed in and delivered into eukaryotic cells by a yopJ strain of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. We show here that AvrA affects neither cytokine expression or plays a role in macrophage killing when expressed by either Salmonella or Yersinia. Additionally, AvrA does not possess SopB/D-like activity in promoting fluid secretion into infected calf ileal loops. These data indicate that Salmonella and Yersinia trigger and/or modulate eukaryotic cell responses by different typeIII-secreted proteins and suggests that despite their close evolutionary relatedness, AvrA and YopJ perform different functions for Salmonella and Yersinia, respectively.

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