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Cell Microbiol. 2007 Nov;9(11):2598-609. Epub 2007 Jul 23.

Identification and characterization of VopT, a novel ADP-ribosyltransferase effector protein secreted via the Vibrio parahaemolyticus type III secretion system 2.

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Department of Bacterial Infections, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, 3-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Vibrio parahaemolyticus strain RIMD2210633 has two sets of genes encoding two separate type III secretion systems (T3SSs), called T3SS1 and T3SS2. T3SS2 has a role in enterotoxicity and is present only in Kanagawa phenomenon-positive strains, which are pathogenic to humans. Accordingly, T3SS2 is considered to be closely related to V. parahaemolyticus human pathogenicity. Despite this, the biological actions of T3SS2 and the identity of the effector protein(s) secreted by this system have not been well understood. Here we report that T3SS2 induces a cytotoxic effect in Caco-2 and HCT-8 cells. Moreover, it was revealed that VPA1327 (vopT), a gene encoded within the proximity of T3SS2, is partly responsible for this cytotoxic effect. The VopT shows approximately 45% and 44% identity with the ADP-ribosyltransferase (ADPRT) domain of ExoT and ExoS, respectively, which are two T3SS-secreted effectors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. T3SS2 was found to be necessary not only for the secretion, but also for the translocation of the VopT into host cells. We also demonstrate that VopT ADP-ribosylates Ras, a member of the low-molecular-weight G (LMWG) proteins both in vivo and in vitro. These results indicate that VopT is a novel ADPRT effector secreted via V. parahaemolyticus T3SS.

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