The invasion-associated type III system of Salmonella typhimurium directs the translocation of Sip proteins into the host cell

Mol Microbiol. 1997 May;24(4):747-56. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.1997.3781740.x.


The ability of Salmonella typhimurium to interact with host cells is largely dependent on the function of a type III protein-secretion system encoded at centisome 63 of its chromosome. We have shown here that two targets of this protein-secretion system, SipB and SipC, are translocated into cultured intestinal Henle-407 cells. Translocation required the function of the type III secretion apparatus, as an S. typhimurium strain carrying a mutation in invA, which encodes an essential component of this system, failed to translocate the Sip proteins. Null mutations in the genes encoding SipB, SipC or SipD, prevented protein translocation, indicating that these proteins are involved in the translocation process. In contrast, mutations in sipA and sptP, which also encode secreted proteins, did not interfere with the translocation of SipC, indicating that only a subset of targets of the type III secretion system act as translocases. Externally or internally localized bacteria could direct protein translocation into Henle-407 cells as this process occurred in the presence of cytochalasin D at a concentration that prevented bacterial entry, or in the presence of gentamicin added shortly after bacterial internalization at a concentration that killed extracellular Salmonella. These results indicate that protein translocation into host cells may be a universal function of all type III secretion systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytochalasin D / pharmacology
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / pathogenicity*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Salmonella invasion protein C
  • SspD protein, Salmonella typhimurium
  • invasion protein B, Salmonella typhimurium
  • invA protein, Bacteria
  • Cytochalasin D