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Mol Microbiol. 2005 Apr;56(1):90-103.

IcmS-dependent translocation of SdeA into macrophages by the Legionella pneumophila type IV secretion system.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Legionella pneumophila replicates inside alveolar macrophages and causes an acute, potentially fatal pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. The ability of this bacterium to grow inside of macrophages is dependent on the presence of a functional dot/icm type IV secretion system (T4SS). Proteins secreted by the Dot/Icm T4SS are presumed to alter the host endocytic pathway, allowing L. pneumophila to establish a replicative niche within the host cell. Here we show that a member of the SidE family of proteins interacts with IcmS and is required for full virulence in the protozoan host Acanthamoeba castellanii. Using immunofluorescence microscopy and adenylate cyclase fusions, we show that SdeA is secreted into host cells by L. pneumophila in an IcmS-dependent manner. The SidE-like proteins are secreted very early during macrophage infection, suggesting that they are important in the initial formation of the replicative phagosome. Secreted SidE family members show a similar localization to other Dot/Icm substrates, specifically, to the poles of the replicative phagosome. This common localization of secreted substrates of the Dot/Icm system may indicate the formation of a multiprotein complex on the cytoplasmic face of the replicative phagosome.

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