Putative type VI secretion systems of Vibrio parahaemolyticus contribute to adhesion to cultured cell monolayers

Arch Microbiol. 2012 Oct;194(10):827-35. doi: 10.1007/s00203-012-0816-z. Epub 2012 Apr 26.


Analysis of the genome sequence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus reveals two IcmF family genes in putative type VI secretion system (vpT6SS) clusters in chromosomes 1 (icmF1) and 2 (icmF2). The icmF1 gene is present in majority of clinical isolates (87.5 %), but has a low fraction (25.0 %) in environmental isolates. However, icmF2 is contained in all strains of both clinical and environmental sources. Deletion of either icmF1 or hcp1 significantly reduced bacterial adhesion to Caco-2 cells or HeLa monolayers. However, the ΔicmF2 and Δhcp2 mutants showed decreased adhesion only to HeLa monolayers. Western blot analysis showed that Hcp2 was present both in the supernatant and pellet samples in the wild-type strain, but only in the pellet of the ΔicmF2 mutant, indicating that Hcp2 is a translocon of T6SS2. Although vpT6SS1 might be functional in cellular adhesion, the putative translocon Hcp1 was not detectable. Quantitative PCR revealed 10-fold and 17-fold less transcripts of hcp1 and icmF1 mRNA than those of hcp2 and icmF2 accordingly. Thus, we postulate that the putative vpT6SS systems contribute to adhesion of V. parahaemolyticus to host cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion / physiology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus / genetics
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus / metabolism*
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus / pathogenicity
  • Virulence Factors / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Virulence Factors