Vaccination with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium lacking DNA adenine methyltransferase confers cross-protective immunity against multiple Salmonella serotypes. The mechanistic basis is thought to be associated with the de-repression of genes that are tightly regulated when transiting from one microenvironment to another. This de-repression provides a potential means for the production of a more highly expressed and stable antigenic repertoire capable of inducing cross-protective immune responses. To identify genes encoding proteins that may contribute to cross-protective immunity, we used a Salmonella Typhimurium DNA adenine methyltransferase mutant strain (UK-1 dam mutant) derived from the parental UK-1 strain, and assessed the transcriptional profile of the UK-1 dam mutant and UK-1 strain grown under conditions that simulate the intestinal or endosomal microenvironments encountered during the infective process. As expected, the transcriptional profile of the UK-1 dam mutant identified a set of genes more transcriptionally active when compared directly to UK-1, and stably transcribed in biologically relevant culture conditions. Further, 22% of these genes were more highly transcribed in comparison to two other clinically-relevant Salmonella serovars. The strategy employed here helps to identify potentially conserved proteins produced by the UK-1 dam mutant that stimulate and/or modulate the development of cross-protective immune responses toward multiple Salmonella serotypes.
Keywords: DNA adenine methyltransferase; Salmonella Typhimurium; bacteriophage; fimbriae; immunity; transcriptome.