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The bacterial type III secretion system (T3SS) delivers virulence proteins, called effectors, into eukaryotic cells. T3SS comprises a transmembrane secretion apparatus and a complex network of specialized chaperones that target protein substrates to this secretion apparatus. However, the regulation of secretion switching from early (needle and inner rod) to middle (tip/filament and translocators) substrates is incompletely understood. Here, we investigated chaperone-mediated secretion switching from early to middle substrates in the T3SS encoded by Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI2), essential for systemic infection. Our findings revealed that the protein encoded by ssaH regulates the secretion of an inner rod and early substrate, SsaI. Structural modeling revealed that SsaH is structurally similar to class III chaperones, known to associate with proteins in various pathogenic bacteria. The SPI2 protein SsaE was identified as a class V chaperone homolog and partner of SsaH. A pulldown analysis disclosed that SsaH and SsaE form a heterodimer, which interacted with another early substrate, the needle protein SsaG. Moreover, SsaE also helped stabilize SsaH and a middle substrate, SseB. We also found that SsaE regulates cellular SsaH levels to translocate the early substrates SsaG and SsaI and then promotes the translocation of SseB by stabilizing it. In summary, our results indicate that the class III chaperone SsaH facilitates SsaI secretion, and a heterodimer of SsaH and the type V chaperone SsaE then switches secretion to SsaG. This is the first report of a chaperone system that regulates both early and middle substrates during substrate switching for T3SS assembly. © 2019 Takaya et al.


Akiko Takaya, Hikari Takeda, Shogo Tashiro, Hiroto Kawashima, Tomoko Yamamoto. Chaperone-mediated secretion switching from early to middle substrates in the type III secretion system encoded by Salmonella pathogenicity island 2. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2019 Mar 08;294(10):3783-3793

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PMID: 30651351

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