SipA is a major effector of Salmonella, which causes gastroenteritis and enteric fever. Caspase-3 cleaves SipA into two domains: the C-terminal domain regulates actin polymerization, whereas the function of the N terminus is unknown. We show that the cleaved SipA N terminus binds and recruits host Syntaxin8 (Syn8) to Salmonella-containing vacuoles (SCVs). The SipA N terminus contains a SNARE motif with a conserved arginine residue like mammalian R-SNAREs. SipAR204Q and SipA1-435R204Q do not bind Syn8, demonstrating that SipA mimics a cognate R-SNARE for Syn8. Consequently, Salmonella lacking SipA or that express the SipA1-435R204Q SNARE mutant are unable to recruit Syn8 to SCVs. Finally, we show that SipA mimicking an R-SNARE recruits Syn8, Syn13, and Syn7 to the SCV and promotes its fusion with early endosomes to potentially arrest its maturation. Our results reveal that SipA functionally substitutes endogenous SNAREs in order to hijack the host trafficking pathway and promote Salmonella survival.
© 2018 Singh et al.