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Translocation Of A Hybrid YopE‐adenylate Cyclase From Yersinia Enterocolitica Into HeLa Cells

M. Sory, G. Cornelis
Published 1994 · Medicine, Biology

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Pathogenic bacteria of the genus Yersinia release in vitro a set of antihost proteins called Yops. Upon infection of cultured epithelial cells, extracellular Yersinia pseudotuberculosis transfers YopE across the host cell plasma membrane. To facilitate the study of this translocation process, we constructed a recombinant Yersinia enterocolitica strain producing YopE fused to a reporter enzyme. As a reporter, we selected the calmodulin‐dependent adenylate cyclase of Borde‐tella pertussis and we monitored the accumulation of cyclic AMP (cAMP). Since bacteria do not produce calmodulin, cyclase activity marks the presence of hybrid enzyme in the cytoplasmic compartment of the eukaryotic cell. Infection of a monolayer of HeLa cells by the recombinant Y. enterocolitica strain led to a significant increase of cAMP. This phenomenon was dependent not only on the integrity of the Yop secretion pathway but also on the presence of YopB and/or YopD. It also required the presence of the adhesin YadA at the bacterial surface. In contrast, the phenomenon was not affected by cytochalasin D, indicating that internalization of the bacteria themselves was not required for the translocation process. Our results demonstrate that Y. enterocolitica is able to transfer hybrid proteins into eukaryotic cells. This system can be used not only to study the mechanism of YopE translocation but also the fate of the other Yops or even of proteins secreted by other bacterial pathogens.
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