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Cell Microbiol. 2011 Dec;13(12):1858-69. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2011.01701.x. Epub 2011 Oct 10.

Salmonella effectors: important players modulating host cell function during infection.

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Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.


Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) is a Gram-negative facultative food-borne pathogen that causes gastroenteritis in humans. This bacterium has evolved a sophisticated machinery to alter host cell function critical to its virulence capabilities. Central to S. Typhimurium pathogenesis are two Type III secretion systems (T3SS) encoded within pathogenicity islands SPI-1 and SPI-2 that are responsible for the secretion and translocation of a set of bacterial proteins termed effectors into host cells with the intention of altering host cell physiology for bacterial entry and survival. Thus, once delivered by the T3SS, the secreted effectors play critical roles in manipulating the host cell to allow for bacteria invasion, induction of inflammatory responses, and the assembly of an intracellular protective niche created for bacterial survival and replication. Emerging evidence indicates that these effectors are modular proteins consisting of distinct functional domains/motifs that are utilized by the bacteria to activate intracellular signalling pathways modifying host cell function. Also, recently reported are the dual functionality of secreted effectors and the concept of 'terminal reassortment'. Herein, we highlight some of the nascent concepts regarding Salmonella effectors in the context of infection.

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