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The Salmonella Typhi hlyE gene plays a role in invasion of cultured epithelial cells and its functional transfer to S. Typhimurium promotes deep organ infection in mice.

Programa de Doctorado en Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Alameda 340, Santiago, Chile.
Research in Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.89). 06/2008; 159(4):279-87. DOI: 10.1016/j.resmic.2008.02.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Comparison of genome sequences of Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Typhimurium reveals that S. Typhi has a small 2.3kb genomic island missing in S. Typhimurium, designated Salmonella pathogenicity island 18 (SPI-18), which includes two potential genes. One of these, hlyE, encodes a hemolysin related to the Escherichia coli K12 HlyE hemolysin. PCR assays show that SPI-18 is present in S. Typhi and in many other, but not all, serovars of S. enterica subsp. enterica belonging to the SARB collection. HlyE activity cannot be detected in S. Typhi by means of standard plate assays. Nevertheless, we were able to reveal this activity upon lysis of bacterial cells with phages, in the presence of ampicillin, and in a ompA genetic background, conditions that compromise the integrity of the bacterial envelope. Almost all serovars of the SARB collection shown to cause systemic infections in humans have SPI-18 and hlyE and express an active hemolysin revealed upon bacterial envelope destabilization. S. Typhi hlyE mutants are impaired in invasion of human epithelial cells in vitro, and its heterologous expression in S. Typhimurium improves the colonization of deep organs in mice, demonstrating that the HlyE hemolysin is a new virulence determinant.

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Jul 11, 2014