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SrfJ, a Salmonella Type III Secretion System Effector Regulated by PhoP, RcsB, and IolR

Cordero-Alba, Mar, Bernal-Bayard, Joaquín, Ramos-Morales, Francisco
Journal of bacteriology 2012 v.194 no.16 pp. 4226-4236
Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium, Type III secretion system, bacteria, myo-inositol, pathogenicity islands, pathogens, regulator genes, secretion, transcription (genetics), transposons
Virulence-related type III secretion systems are present in many Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. These complex devices translocate proteins, called effectors, from the bacterium into the eukaryotic host cell. Here, we identify the product of srfJ, a Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium gene regulated by SsrB, as a new substrate of the type III secretion system encoded by Salmonella pathogenicity island 2. The N-terminal 20-amino-acid segment of SrfJ was recognized as a functional secretion and translocation signal specific for this system. Transcription of srfJ was positively regulated by the PhoP/PhoQ system in an SsrB-dependent manner and was negatively regulated by the Rcs system in an SsrB-independent manner. A screen for regulators of an srfJ-lacZ transcriptional fusion using the T-POP transposon identified IolR, the regulator of genes involved in myo-inositol utilization, as an srfJ repressor. Our results suggest that SrfJ is synthesized both inside the host, in response to intracellular conditions, and outside the host, in myo-inositol-rich environments.