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EMBO J. 1995 Sep 1;14(17):4187-95.

Functional conservation of the secretion and translocation machinery for virulence proteins of yersiniae, salmonellae and shigellae.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Umeå University, Sweden.


Virulent bacteria of the genera Yersinia, Shigella and Salmonella secrete a number of virulence determinants, Yops, Ipas and Sips respectively, by a type III secretion pathway. The IpaB protein of Shigella flexneri was expressed in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and found to be secreted under the same conditions required for Yop secretion. Likewise, YopE was secreted by the wild-type strain LT2 of Salmonella typhimurium, but YopE was not secreted by the isogenic invA mutant. Secretion of both IpaB and YopE required their respective chaperones, IpgC and YerA. In addition, yopE-containing S. typhimurium expressed a YopE-mediated cytotoxicity on cultured HeLa cells. YopE was detected in the cytosol of the infected HeLa cells and the amount of translocated YopE correlated with the degree of cytotoxicity. Both translocation and cytotoxicity were prevented by the addition of gentamicin. Treatment of HeLa cells with cytochalasin D prior to infection prevented internalization of bacteria, but translocation of YopE was still observed. These results favour the hypothesis that YopE is translocated through the plasma membrane by surface-located bacteria. We propose that virulent Salmonella and Shigella deliver virulence effector molecules into the target cell through the utilization of a functionally conserved secretion/translocation machinery similar to that shown for Yersinia.

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