Pseudogenization of sopA and sopE2 is functionally linked and contributes to virulence of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi

L. M. Valenzuela, A. A. Hidalgo, L. Rodríguez, I. M. Urrutia, A. P. Ortega, N. A. Villagra, D. Paredes-Sabja, I. L. Calderón, F. Gil, C. P. Saavedra, G. C. Mora, J. A. Fuentes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The difference in host range between Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) and S. enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) can be partially attributed to pseudogenes. Pseudogenes are genomic segments homologous to functional genes that do not encode functional products due to the presence of genetic defects. S. Typhi lacks several protein effectors implicated in invasion or other important processes necessary for full virulence of S. Typhimurium. SopA and SopE2, effectors that have been lost by pseudogenization in S. Typhi, correspond to an ubiquitin ligase involved in cytokine production by infected cells, and to a guanine exchange factor necessary for invasion of epithelial cells, respectively. We hypothesized that sopA and/or sopE pseudogenization contributed to the virulence of S. Typhi. In this work, we found that S. Typhi expressing S. Typhimurium sopE2 exhibited a decreased invasion in different epithelial cell lines compared with S. Typhi WT. S. Typhimurium sopA completely abolished the hypo-invasive phenotype observed in S. Typhi expressing S. Typhimurium sopE2, suggesting that functional SopA and SopE2 participate concertedly in the invasion process. Finally, the expression of S. Typhimurium sopA and/or sopE2 in S. Typhi, determined changes in the secretion of IL-8 and IL-18 in infected epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • Host-specificity
  • Pseudogene
  • Reductive evolution
  • SopA
  • SopE2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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