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Mol Microbiol. 2001 Jan;39(2):248-59.

A Salmonella inositol polyphosphatase acts in conjunction with other bacterial effectors to promote host cell actin cytoskeleton rearrangements and bacterial internalization.

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Section of Microbial Pathogenesis, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06536, USA.

Erratum in

  • Mol Microbiol 2001 Jun;40(6):1461.


A central feature of Salmonella pathogenicity is the bacterium's ability to enter into non-phagocytic cells. Bacterial internalization is the consequence of cellular responses characterized by Cdc42- and Rac-dependent actin cytoskeleton rearrangements. These responses are triggered by the co-ordinated function of bacterial proteins delivered into the host cell by a specialized protein secretion system termed type III. We report here that SopB, a Salmonella inositol polyphosphatase delivered to the host cell by this secretion system, mediates actin cytoskeleton rearrangements and bacterial entry in a Cdc42-dependent manner. SopB exhibits overlapping functions with two other effectors of bacterial entry, the Rho family GTPase exchange factors SopE and SopE2. Thus, Salmonella strains deficient in any one of these proteins can enter into cells at high efficiency, whereas a strain lacking all three effectors is completely defective for entry. Consistent with an important role for inositol phosphate metabolism in Salmonella-induced cellular responses, a catalytically defective mutant of SopB failed to stimulate actin cytoskeleton rearrangements and bacterial entry. Furthermore, bacterial infection of intestinal cells resulted in a marked increase in Ins(1,4,5,6)P4, a consumption of InsP5 and the activation of phospholipase C. In agreement with the in vivo findings, purified SopB specifically dephosphorylated InsP5 to Ins(1,4,5,6)P4 in vitro. Surprisingly, the inositol phosphate fluxes induced by Salmonella were not caused exclusively by SopB. We show that the SopB-independent inositol phosphate fluxes are the consequence of the SopE-dependent activation of an endogenous inositol phosphatase. The ability of Salmonella to stimulate Rho GTPases signalling and inositol phosphate metabolism through alternative mechanisms is an example of the remarkable ability of this bacterial pathogen to manipulate host cellular functions.

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