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J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 15;280(15):14620-7. Epub 2005 Feb 14.

A Salmonella typhimurium effector protein SifA is modified by host cell prenylation and S-acylation machinery.

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Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Center for Veterinary Science, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


SifA is a Salmonella effector protein that is required for maintenance of the vacuolar membrane that surrounds replicating bacteria. It associates with the Salmonella-containing vacuole but how it interacts with the membrane is unknown. Here we show by immunofluorescence, S100 fractionation and Triton X-114 partitioning that the membrane association and targeting properties of SifA are influenced by a motif encoded within the C-terminal six amino acids. This sequence shares homology with both CAAX and Rab geranylgeranyl transferase prenylation motifs. We characterized the post-translational processing of SifA and showed that the cysteine residue within the CAAX motif is modified by isoprenoid addition through the action of protein geranylgeranyl transferase I. SifA was additionally modified by S-acylation of an adjacent cysteine residue. Similar modifications to host cell proteins regulate numerous functions including protein targeting, membrane association, protein-protein interaction, and signal transduction. This is the only known example of a bacterial effector protein that is modified both by mammalian cell S-acylation and prenylation machinery.

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