Molecular determinants of Yersinia pathogenesis

M Iriarte, G R Cornelis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The genus Yersinia contains three pathogenic species: Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica. Even though the three species use different routes to infect their host and provoke diseases of different intensity, they share a common tropism for the lymphoid tissue and they are able to resist the primary immune response of the host. The main genetic determinants involved in this resistance are encoded by a highly conserved 70-kb virulence plasmid. The genes harbored by the pYV plasmid encode the lipoprotein YlpA, the outer membrane protein YadA, and a group of at least 11 secreted proteins called Yops. The pYV plasmid also encodes the apparatus necessary for the secretion of the Yop proteins, as well as those involved in the regulation of Yop synthesis. The Yop proteins are secreted by a specific secretion system which is considered as the archetype of a new secretion pathway called type III. After their secretion they are immediately internalized into the cytosol of a target eukaryotic cell, which represents a new phenomenon in microbial pathogenesis. The chromosome of Y. enterocolitica completes the virulence panoply of the bacteria by encoding an enterotoxin called Yst, fibrillae named Myf and an invasin called Inv.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)267-80
    Number of pages14
    JournalMicrobiología (Madrid, Spain)
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


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