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Cell Microbiol. 2001 Aug;3(8):567-77.

Remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton is essential for replication of intravacuolar Salmonella.

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Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, INSERM-CNRS-Univ.Med., Campus de Luminy, Case 906, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France.


Maturation and maintenance of the intracellular vacuole in which Salmonella replicates is controlled by virulence proteins including the type III secretion system encoded by Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI-2). Here, we show that, several hours after bacterial uptake into different host cell types, Salmonella induces the formation of an F-actin meshwork around bacterial vacuoles. This structure is assembled de novo from the cellular G-actin pool in close proximity to the Salmonella vacuolar membrane. We demonstrate that the phenomenon does not require the Inv/Spa type III secretion system or cognate effector proteins, which induce actin polymerization during bacterial invasion, but does require a functional SPI-2 type III secretion system, which plays an important role in intracellular replication and systemic infection in mice. Treatment with actin-depolymerizing agents significantly inhibited intramacrophage replication of wild-type Salmonella typhimurium. Furthermore, after this treatment, wild-type bacteria were released into the host cell cytoplasm, whereas SPI-2 mutant bacteria remained within vacuoles. We conclude that actin assembly plays an important role in the establishment of an intracellular niche that sustains bacterial growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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