Salmonella typhimurium translocates effector proteins into host cells via the SPI1 type III secretion system to induce responses such as membrane ruffling and internalization by non-phagocytic cells. Activation of the host cellular RhoGTPase Cdc42 is thought to be a key event during internalization. The translocated Salmonella protein SopE is an activator for Cdc42. Because SopE is absent from most S. typhimurium strains it remains unclear whether all S. typhimurium strains rely on activation of Cdc42 to invade host cells. We have identified SopE2, a translocated effector protein common to all S. typhimurium strains. SopE2 is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Cdc42 and shows 69% sequence similarity to SopE. Analysis of S. typhimurium mutants demonstrated that SopE2 plays a role in recruitment of the actin-nucleating Arp2/3 complex to the membrane ruffles and in efficient host cell invasion. Transfection experiments showed that SopE2 is sufficient to activate host cellular Cdc42, to recruit the actin-nucleating Arp2/3 complex and to induce actin cytoskeletal rearrangements and internalization. In conclusion, as a result of SopE2 all S. typhimurium strains tested have the capacity to activate Cdc42 signalling inside host cells which is important to ensure efficient entry.