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Virulence. 2016 Aug 17;7(6):669-78. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2016.1173298. Epub 2016 Apr 5.

Effector proteins support the asymmetric apportioning of Salmonella during cytokinesis.

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a Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Aix Marseille Université UM2 , Inserm, U1104, CNRS UMR7280, Marseille , France.


Salmonella-infected cells are characterized by the presence of intra-cellular membranous tubules that emerge from bacterial vacuoles and extend along microtubules. The formation of Salmonella-induced tubules depends on the Salmonella pathogenicity island 2-encoded type III secretion system (T3SS-2) that translocates bacterial effector proteins inside host cells. Effector proteins have enzymatic activities or allow for hijacking of cellular functions. The role of Salmonella-induced tubules in virulence remains unclear but their absence is correlated with virulence defects. This study describes the presence of inter-cellular tubules that arise between daughter cells during cytokinesis. Inter-cellular tubules connect bacterial vacuoles originally present in the parent cell and that have been apportioned between daughters. Their formation requires a functional T3SS-2 and effector proteins. Our data establish a correlation between the formation of inter-cellular tubules and the asymmetric distribution of bacterial vacuoles in daughters. Thus, by manipulating the distribution of bacteria in cytokinetic cells, Salmonella T3SS-2 effector proteins may increase bacterial spreading and the systemic character of the infection.


Salmonella; effector protein; eukaryotic cell cycle; type 3 secretion system; virulence

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