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J Bacteriol. 2008 Jan;190(1):87-97. Epub 2007 Oct 19.

The Salmonella SPI1 type three secretion system responds to periplasmic disulfide bond status via the flagellar apparatus and the RcsCDB system.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Upon contact with intestinal epithelial cells, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium injects a set of effector proteins into the host cell cytoplasm via the Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI1) type III secretion system (T3SS) to induce inflammatory diarrhea and bacterial uptake. The master SPI1 regulatory gene hilA is controlled directly by three AraC-like regulators: HilD, HilC, and RtsA. Previous work suggested a role for DsbA, a periplasmic disulfide bond oxidase, in SPI1 T3SS function. RtsA directly activates dsbA, and deletion of dsbA leads to loss of SPI1-dependent secretion. We have studied the dsbA phenotypes by monitoring expression of SPI1 regulatory, structural, and effector genes. Here we present evidence that loss of DsbA independently affects SPI1 regulation and SPI1 function. The dsbA-mediated feedback inhibition of SPI1 transcription is not due to defects in the SPI1 T3SS apparatus. Rather, the transcriptional response is dependent on both the flagellar protein FliZ and the RcsCDB system, which also affects fliZ transcription. Thus, the status of disulfide bonds in the periplasm affects expression of the SPI1 system indirectly via the flagellar apparatus. RcsCDB can also affect SPI1 independently of FliZ. All regulation is through HilD, consistent with our current model for SPI1 regulation.

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