Reactive oxygen species are the major antibacterials against Salmonella Typhimurium purine auxotrophs in the phagosome of RAW 264.7 cells

Cell Microbiol. 2008 May;10(5):1058-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2007.01105.x. Epub 2007 Dec 6.


Intramacrophage survival appears to be a pathogenic trait common to Salmonellae and definition of the metabolic requirements of Salmonella within macrophages might provide opportunities for novel therapeutic interventions. We show that loss of PurG function in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium SL1344 leads to death of the bacterium in RAW264.7 cells, which was due to unavailability of purine nucleotides but not thiamine in the phagosome of RAW264.7 cells. Phagosomal escape of purG mutant restored growth, suggesting that the phagosomal environment, but not the cytosol, is toxic to Salmonella purine auxotrophs. NADPH oxidase inhibition restored the growth of purG mutant in RAW264.7 cells, implying that the Salmonella-containing vacuole acquires reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are lethal to purine auxotrophs. Under purine limiting conditions, purG mutant was unable to repair the damage caused by hydrogen peroxide or UV irradiation, suggesting that ROS-mediated DNA damage may have been responsible for the attenuated phenotype of purG mutant in RAW264.7 cells and in mice. These studies highlight the possibility of utilizing the Salmonella purine nucleotide biosynthetic pathway as a prospective therapeutic target and also underline the importance of metabolic pathways in assembling a comprehensive understanding of the host-pathogen interactions inside phagocytic cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Macrophages / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • NADPH Oxidases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Phagosomes / microbiology
  • Purines / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics
  • Salmonella typhimurium / growth & development*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / metabolism
  • Thiamine / metabolism


  • Purines
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • NADPH Oxidases
  • Thiamine