Analysis of chaperone-dependent Yop secretion/translocation and effector function using a mini-virulence plasmid of Yersinia enterocolitica

Int J Med Microbiol. 2003 Jun;293(2-3):167-77. doi: 10.1078/1438-4221-00251.


We have constructed a mini-pYV plasmid (pTTSS) harboring the Yersinia type three secretion system (TTSS) and the adhesin yadA on a low-copy vector. Using this system we could demonstrate for the first time that YopO, YopP, YopM, and YopQ do not require any of the known or orphan chaperones for efficient secretion/translocation. Y. enterocolitica harboring pTTSS, (WA-C(pTTSS)) was able to secrete and translocate single Yop effector proteins in trans. WA-C(pTTSS) proved to be stable and secretion of Yops was Ca2+ and temperature dependent as is the case for the parental strain. This shows that all genes necessary for translocation and expression of the Ca(2+)-dependent phenotype are contained within the cloned region. In contrast to previously published multiple yop mutants which were constructed by sequential deletion of yops, our system which harbors only the TTSS region without yops, chaperones, and unknown ORFs can be sequentially complemented with yops and sycs of choice. WA-C(pTTSS) was able to translocate YopE, YopM and YopT into HeLa cells as demonstrated by Western blotting. Translocation of YopE and YopT was strictly dependent on the presence of their respective chaperones, whereas YopM did not require a chaperone for translocation. WA-C(pTTSS) harboring yopT and sycT was shown to translocate active YopT by demonstrating modification of the small GTP-binding protein RhoA. This shows for the first time that RhoA modification is strictly dependent on YopT and does not require additional effector Yops. WA-C(pTTSS) harboring YopP was shown to induce apoptosis. This system is ideal to study chaperone-dependent Yop secretion/ translocation without the background of other effector Yops (YopE, YopM, YopO, YopP, YopT, YopH), chaperones (SycE, SycH, SycT) and unknown ORFs. In addition this system can secrete heterologous proteins fused to the N-terminal secretion/translocation domain of YopE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / analysis
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Calcium
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Cytotoxins / analysis
  • Cytotoxins / genetics
  • Cytotoxins / metabolism*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Plasmids
  • Protein Transport
  • Temperature
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / genetics
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / growth & development
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / metabolism*
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein / analysis
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytotoxins
  • YopT protein, Yersinia
  • yopE protein, Yersinia
  • yopM protein, Yersinia
  • YopQ protein, Yersinia enterocolitica
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein
  • Calcium