Dynamic Behavior of Salmonella-Induced Membrane Tubules in Epithelial Cells

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Salmonella Typhimurium is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes acute gastroenteritis in man. Intracellular Salmonella survive and replicate within a modified phagosome known as the Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV). The onset of intracellular replication is accompanied by the appearance of membrane tubules, called Salmonella-induced filaments (Sifs), extending from the SCV. Sifs are enriched in late endosomal/lysosomal membrane proteins such as lysosome-associated membrane protein 1, but their formation and ability to interact with endosomal compartments are not characterized. In this study, we use live cell imaging techniques to define the dynamics of Sif formation in infected epithelial cells. At early time-points, Sifs are simple tubules extending from the surface of SCVs. These tubules are highly dynamic and exhibit bidirectional, microtubule-dependent movement. At the distal ends of individual Sif tubules, furthest from the SCV, a distinct ‘leader’ domain was often observed. At later times, Sifs develop into highly complex tubular networks that extend throughout the cell and appear less dynamic than nascent Sifs; however, individual tubules continue to display bidirectional dynamics. Sifs can acquire endocytic content by fusion, indicating a sustained interaction with the endocytic pathway. Together, these results show that these Salmonella-induced tubules form a highly dynamic network that involves both microtubule-dependent motility and interactions with endosomal compartments.

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