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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Functional conservation among members of the Salmonella typhimurium InvA family of proteins.

InvA, which is essential for Salmonella spp. to enter cultured epithelial cells, is a member of a family of proteins involved in either flagellar biosynthesis or the secretion of virulence determinants by a number of plant and mammalian pathogens. The predicted overall secondary structures of these proteins show significant similarities and indicate a modular construction with a hydrophobic amino-terminal half, consisting of six to eight potential transmembrane domains, and a hydrophilic carboxy terminus which is predicted to reside in the cytoplasm. These proteins can be aligned over the entire length of their polypeptide sequences, with the highest degree of homology found in the amino terminus and clusters of conserved residues in the carboxy terminus. We examined the functional conservation among members of this protein family by assessing the ability of MxiA of Shigella flexneri and LcrD of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis to restore invasiveness to an invA mutant of Salmonella typhimurium. We found that MxiA was able to complement the entry defect of the invA mutant strain of S. typhimurium. In contrast, LcrD failed to complement the same strain. However, a plasmid carrying a gene encoding a chimeric protein consisting of the amino terminus of LcrD and the carboxy terminus of InvA complemented the defect of the Salmonella invA mutant. These results indicate that the secretory systems in which these proteins participate are functionally similar and that the Salmonella and Shigella systems are very closely related. These data also suggest that determinants of specificity may be located at the carboxy termini of these proteins.[1]


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