Taking possession: biogenesis of the Salmonella-containing vacuole

Traffic. 2003 Sep;4(9):587-99. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0854.2003.00118.x.


The Gram-negative pathogen Salmonella enterica can survive and replicate within a variety of mammalian cells. Regardless of the cell type, internalized bacteria survive and replicate within the Salmonella-containing vacuole, the biogenesis of which is dependent on bacterially encoded virulence factors. In particular, Type III secretion systems translocate bacterial effector proteins into the eukaryotic cell where they can specifically interact with a variety of targets. Salmonella has two distinct Type III secretion systems that are believed to have completely different functions. The SPI2 system is induced intracellularly and is required for intracellular survival in macrophages; it plays no role in invasion but is categorized as being required for Salmonella-containing vacuole biogenesis. In contrast, the SPI1 Type III secretion system is induced extracellularly and is essential for invasion of nonphagocytic cells. Its role in post-invasion processes has not been well studied. Recent studies indicate that Salmonella-containing vacuole biogenesis may be more dependent on SPI1 than previously believed. Other non-SPI2 virulence factors and the host cell itself may play critical roles in determining the intracellular environment of this facultative intracellular pathogen. In this review we discuss the recent advances in determining the mechanisms by which Salmonella regulate Salmonella-containing vacuole biogenesis and the implications of these findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Biomarkers / chemistry
  • Endocytosis
  • Endosomes / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lipids / physiology
  • Lysosomes / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Salmonella / pathogenicity*
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / metabolism
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / microbiology
  • Vacuoles / metabolism
  • Vacuoles / microbiology*


  • Actins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Biomarkers
  • Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins
  • SPI-2 protein, Salmonella
  • Spi1 protein, Salmonella