Salmonella enterica invasion of polarized epithelial cells is a highly cooperative effort

Infect Immun. 2014 Jun;82(6):2657-67. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00023-14. Epub 2014 Apr 7.


The invasion of polarized epithelial cells by Salmonella enterica requires the cooperative activity of the Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI1)-encoded type III secretion system (T3SS) and the SPI4-encoded adhesin SiiE. The invasion of polarized cells is more efficient than that of nonpolarized cells, and we observed the formation of clusters of bacteria on infected cells. Here we demonstrate that the invasion of polarized cells is a highly cooperative activity. Using a novel live-cell imaging approach, we visualized the cooperative entry of multiple bacteria into ruffles induced on the apical surfaces of polarized cells. The induction of membrane ruffles by activity of Salmonella enables otherwise noninvasive mutant strains to enter polarized host cells. Bacterial motility and chemotaxis were of lower importance for cooperativity in polarized-cell invasion. We propose that cooperative invasion is a key factor for the very efficient entry into polarized cells and a factor contributing to epithelial damage and intestinal inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cell Polarity / physiology*
  • Chemotaxis / physiology
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Salmonella enterica / pathogenicity
  • Salmonella enterica / physiology*