Identification of Type VI Secretion Systems Effector Proteins That Contribute to Interbacterial Competition in Salmonella Dublin

Fernando A. Amaya, Carlos J. Blondel, María F. Barros-Infante, Dácil Rivera, Andrea I. Moreno-Switt, Carlos A. Santiviago, David Pezoa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The Type VI Secretion System (T6SS) is a multiprotein device that has emerged as an important fitness and virulence factor for many Gram-negative bacteria through the injection of effector proteins into prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells via a contractile mechanism. While some effector proteins specifically target bacterial or eukaryotic cells, others can target both types of cells (trans-kingdom effectors). In Salmonella, five T6SS gene clusters have been identified within pathogenicity islands SPI-6, SPI-19, SPI-20, SPI-21, and SPI-22, which are differentially distributed among serotypes. Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin (S. Dublin) is a cattle-adapted pathogen that harbors both T6SSSPI-6 and T6SSSPI-19. Interestingly, while both systems have been linked to virulence and host colonization in S. Dublin, an antibacterial activity has not been detected for T6SSSPI-6 in this serotype. In addition, there is limited information regarding the repertoire of effector proteins encoded within T6SSSPI-6 and T6SSSPI-19 gene clusters in S. Dublin. In the present study, we demonstrate that T6SSSPI-6 and T6SSSPI-19 of S. Dublin CT_02021853 contribute to interbacterial competition. Bioinformatic and comparative genomic analyses allowed us to identify genes encoding three candidate antibacterial effectors located within SPI-6 and two candidate effectors located within SPI-19. Each antibacterial effector gene is located upstream of a gene encoding a hypothetic immunity protein, thus conforming an effector/immunity (E/I) module. Of note, the genes encoding these effectors and immunity proteins are widely distributed in Salmonella genomes, suggesting a relevant role in interbacterial competition and virulence. Finally, we demonstrate that E/I modules SED_RS01930/SED_RS01935 (encoded in SPI-6), SED_RS06235/SED_RS06230, and SED_RS06335/SED_RS06340 (both encoded in SPI-19) contribute to interbacterial competition in S. Dublin CT_02021853.

Original languageEnglish
Article number811932
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2022


  • effector
  • immunity protein
  • interbacterial competition
  • Salmonella Dublin
  • T6SS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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