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Open Access Research article

YqiC of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a membrane fusogenic protein required for mice colonization

Mariela C Carrica12*, Patricio O Craig2, Víctor A García-Angulo2, Andes Aguirre3, Eleonora García-Véscovi3, Fernando A Goldbaum2 and Silvio L Cravero1

Author affiliations

1 Instituto de Biotecnología, CICVyA-INTA Castelar, Los Reseros y Las Cabañas s/n, Buenos Aires, Argentina

2 Fundación Instituto Leloir (IIBBA-CONICET), Av. Patricias Argentinas 435, Buenos Aires, Argentina

3 Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias Bioquímicas y Farmacéuticas, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Suipacha 531, S2002LRK Rosario, Argentina

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Citation and License

BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:95  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-95

Published: 9 May 2011

Abstract

Background

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is an intracellular bacterial pathogen which can colonize a variety of hosts, including human, causing syndromes that vary from gastroenteritis and diarrhea to systemic disease.

Results

In this work we present structural information as well as insights into the in vivo function of YqiC, a 99-residue protein of S. Typhimurium, which belongs to the cluster of the orthologous group 2960 (COG2960). We found that YqiC shares biophysical and biochemical properties with Brucella abortus BMFP, the only previously characterized member of this group, such as a high alpha helix content, a coiled-coil domain involved in trimerization and a membrane fusogenic activity in vitro. In addition, we demonstrated that YqiC localizes at cytoplasmic and membrane subcellular fractions, that a S. Typhimurium yqiC deficient strain had a severe attenuation in virulence in the murine model when inoculated both orally and intraperitoneally, and was impaired to replicate at physiological and high temperatures in vitro, although it was still able to invade and replicate inside epithelial and macrophages cell lines.

Conclusion

This work firstly demonstrates the importance of a COG2960 member for pathogen-host interaction, and suggests a common function conserved among members of this group.