Identification of a Family of Vibrio Type III Secretion System Effectors That Contain a Conserved Serine/Threonine Kinase Domain

N. Plaza, I. M. Urrutia, K. Garcia, M. K. Waldor, C. J. Blondel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a marine Gram-negative bacterium that is a leading cause of seafood-borne gastroenteritis. Pandemic strains of V. parahaemolyticus rely on a specialized protein secretion machinery known as the type III secretion system 2 (T3SS2) to cause disease. The T3SS2 mediates the delivery of effector proteins into the cytosol of infected cells, where they subvert multiple cellular pathways. Here, we identify a new T3SS2 effector protein encoded by VPA1328 (VP_RS21530) in V. parahaemolyticus RIMD2210633. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that VPA1328 is part of a larger family of uncharacterized T3SS effector proteins with homology to the VopG effector protein in Vibrio cholerae AM-19226. These VopG-like proteins are found in many but not all T3SS2 gene clusters and are distributed among diverse Vibrio species, including V. parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae, V. mimicus, and V. diabolicus and also in Shewanella baltica. Structurebased prediction analyses uncovered the presence of a conserved C-terminal kinase domain in VopG orthologs, similar to the serine/threonine kinase domain found in the NleH family of T3SS effector proteins. However, in contrast to NleH effector proteins, in tissue culture-based infections, VopG did not impede host cell death or suppress interleukin 8 (IL-8) secretion, suggesting a yet undefined role for VopG during V. parahaemolyticus infection. Collectively, our work reveals that VopG effector proteins, a new family of likely serine/threonine kinases, is widely distributed in the T3SS2 effector armamentarium among marine bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2021


  • foodborne pathogen
  • NleH
  • T3SS
  • T3SS2
  • type III secretion system
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus
  • VopG
  • VPA1328

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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