TOOLS FOR IDENTIFYING FUNCTIONS OF TYPE III SECRETION SYSTEM EFFECTORS FROM SHIGELLA FLEXNERI
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Shigellae are pathogenic bacteria that cause the disease shigellosis. Two methods for studying secreted effectors encoded by this pathogen’s virulence plasmid are described. First, protein microarrays were used to identify substrates of an E3 ubiquitin ligase called IpaH7.8. Second, a deletion collection containing mutants for every gene on the virulence plasmid was used in two screens: one to identify mutants that elicit atypical levels of Interleukin-8 (IL-8) from U937 cells, and one to identify mutants that bind the dye Congo red abnormally. Although protein microarrays were an ineffective tool, the deletion collection proved valuable. Most mutants were less effective at sequestering Congo red than wild-type S. flexneri, although this ability was enhanced in several mutants. Four mutants, ?ospB, ?orf186, ?mxiH and ?mxiK, elicited higher levels of IL-8 from U937 cells than wild type S. flexneri. These results validate the use of the deletion collection as a tool for studying bacterial pathogenesis.