Silencing of VAMP3 expression does not affect Brucella melitensis infection in mouse macrophages

Virulence. 2012 Aug 15;3(5):434-9. doi: 10.4161/viru.21251. Epub 2012 Aug 15.


It has been proposed that intracellular pathogens may interfere with expression or function of proteins that mediate vesicular traffic in order to survive inside cells. Brucella melitensis is an intracellular pathogen that evades phagosome-lysosome fusion, surviving in the so-called Brucella-containing vacuoles (BCV). Vesicle-associated membrane protein 3 (VAMP3) is a v-SNARE protein that promotes the exocytosis of the proinflammatory cytokine TNF at the phagocytic cup when docking to its cognate t-SNARE proteins syntaxin-4 and SNAP-23 at the plasma membrane. We determined the expression level of VAMP3 in J774.1 murine macrophages stimulated with B. melitensis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and detected a transitory increase of VAMP3 mRNA expression at 30 min. A similar result was obtained when cells were incubated in the presence of LPS from Salmonella enterica serovar Minnesota (SeM). This increase of VAMP3 mRNA was also observed on infected cells with B. melitensis even after one hour. In contrast, infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SeE) did not cause such increase, suggesting that membrane components other than LPS modulate VAMP3 expression differently. To determine the effect of VAMP3 inhibition on macrophages infection, the expression of VAMP3 in J774.A1 cells was silenced and then infected with wild-type B. melitensis. Although a slight decrease in the rate of recovery of surviving bacteria was observed between 12 h and 36 h post-infection with B. melitensis, this was not significant indicating that VAMP3 is not involved in Brucella survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brucella melitensis / genetics*
  • Brucella melitensis / pathogenicity*
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Macrophages / microbiology*
  • Mice
  • Microbial Viability
  • Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein 3 / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein 3
  • vesicle-associated membrane protein 3, mouse