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Salmonella interactions with host cells: type III secretion at work.

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


The bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica has evolved a very sophisticated functional interface with its vertebrate hosts. At the center of this interface is a specialized organelle, the type III secretion system, that directs the translocation of bacterial proteins into the host cell. Salmonella spp. encode two such systems that deliver a remarkable array of bacterial proteins capable of modulating a variety of cellular functions, including actin cytoskeleton dynamics, nuclear responses, and endocytic trafficking. Many of these bacterial proteins operate by faithful mimicry of host proteins, in some cases representing the result of extensive molecular tinkering and convergent evolution. The coordinated action of these type III secreted proteins secures the replication and survival of the bacteria avoiding overt damage to the host. The study of this remarkable pathogen is not only illuminating general paradigms in microbial pathogenesis but is also providing valuable insight into host cell functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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