Objectives: The bsa locus of Burkholderia pseudomallei encodes several proteins that are components of the type III secretion system (TTSS). BipC was postulated as one of the TTSS-3 effector proteins, but its role in the pathogenesis of B. pseudomallei infection is not well understood. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine its role(s) in the virulence of B. pseudomallei pathogenesis.
Methods: A bipC TTSS-3-deficient strain of B. pseudomallei and complemented strains were generated to assess the role of BipC as a type III translocation apparatus. Human cell lines and a mouse model of melioidosis were used for in vitro and in vivo assays, respectively.
Results: A significant 2-fold reduction was demonstrated in the percentage of adherence, invasion, intracellular survival, and phagosomal escape of the bipC mutant. Interestingly, microscopic studies have shown that BipC was capable of delayed B. pseudomallei actin-based motility. The virulence of the mutant strain in a murine model of melioidosis demonstrated that the bipC mutant was less virulent, compared with the wild type.
Conclusion: The results suggested that BipC possesses virulence determinants that play significant roles in host cell invasion and immune evasion.
Keywords: BipC; Burkholderia pseudomallei; host cell invasion; type III secretion system; type III translocation apparatus; virulence.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.