Characterization of the interaction of single tryptophan containing mutants of IpaC from Shigella flexneri with phospholipid membranes

Academic Article


  • Shigella flexneri causes dysentery after invading the epithelial cells of the human colon. Enterocyte invasion is induced by the bacterial effector IpaC (invasion plasmid antigen C), which triggers Shigella entry into epithelial cells by a rather poorly understood mechanism. IpaC is also involved in pathogen escape into the host cell cytoplasm following uptake, and this property may be reflected in its ability to disrupt phospholipid vesicles in vitro. Purified recombinant IpaC interacts with liposome vesicles to cause the release of small molecules trapped inside. This interaction requires that the liposomes possess an acidic phospholipid component. To better understand the events involved in the disruption of liposomes by IpaC, single tryptophan mutants were generated to permit the use of intrinsic fluorescence, circular dichroism, and ultraviolet absorption spectroscopies to examine the effect that phospholipid membrane association has on IpaC structure and stability. These mutants were also used to determine how amino acid substitutions within specific regions of IpaC influence its activity in vivo. The outcomes of this study include findings that cholesterol greatly impacts IpaC association with phospholipid membranes, tryptophan incorporation into specific regions of IpaC (especially near the C-terminus) can greatly impact its in vivo activity, and interaction with phospholipid membranes causes differing degrees of change in the fluorescence of tryptophan residues introduced at specific sites within IpaC. These data, together with fluorescence quenching analyses, provide new functional and structural information concerning IpaC and its insertion into phospholipid membranes. © 2006 American Chemical Society.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Biochemistry  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 2180567
  • Author List

  • Harrington A; Darboe N; Kenjale R; Picking WL; Middaugh CR; Birket S; Picking WD
  • Start Page

  • 626
  • End Page

  • 636
  • Volume

  • 45
  • Issue

  • 2