Caister Academic Press

Salmonella secreted virulence factors

Fred Heffron, George Niemann, Hyunjin Yoon, Afshan Kidwai, Roslyn Brown, Jason McDermott, Richard Smith and Joshua Adkins
from: Salmonella: From Genome to Function (Edited by: Steffen Porwollik). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


Research in the past twenty years has shown that Salmonella precisely manipulates their host by hierarchical secretion of virulence factors (effectors). More than 40 secreted virulence factors have been identified in Salmonella, but the function and mammalian targets of only a few are known. Effectors are directed to specific sub-cellular compartments and mammalian targets, and they mediate a diverse array of activities. Thus, the first half of this review focuses upon our understanding of effector mechanisms and their roles during infection. However, the known effector repertoire is incomplete and the second half of this review places an emphasis on discovery. Computer analysis identified common secretion motifs and predicted that as many as 300 additional proteins may be secreted by Salmonella. In fact, mass spectrometry analysis identified a more complete secretome and found many novel, uncharacterized effector proteins. Several effectors identified in this study were small proteins of only 30-100 amino acids in length, suggesting that they are not enzymes but agonists or antagonists of specific host factors. One surprise from the mass spectrometry analysis was the identification of proteins that are secreted to mammalian cells via outer membrane vesicles. Complete characterization of the bewildering array of secreted proteins will take many years read more ...
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