The SPI-3 pathogenicity island of Salmonella enterica

Anne Béatrice Blanc-Potard, Felix Solomon, Jayson Kayser, Eduardo A. Groisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Pathogenicity islands are chromosomal clusters of pathogen-specific virulence genes often found at tRNA loci. We have determined the molecular genetic structure of SPI-3, a 17-kb pathogenicity island located at the selC tRNA locus of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. The G+C content of SPI-3 (47.5%) differs from that of the Salmonella genome (52%), consistent with the notion that these sequences have been horizontally acquired. SPI-3 harbors 10 open reading frames organized in six transcriptional units, which include the previously described mgtCB operon encoding the macrophage survival protein MgtC and the Mg2+ transporter MgtB. Among the newly identified open reading frames, one exhibits sequence similarity to the ToxR regulatory protein of Vibrio cholerae and one is similar to the AIDA-I adhesin of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. The distribution of SPI-3 sequences varies among the salmonellae: the right end of the island, which harbors the virulence gene mgtC, is present in all eight subspecies of Salmonella; however, a four-gene cluster at the center of SPI-3 is found in only some of the subspecies and is bracketed by remnants of insertion sequences, suggesting a multistep process in the evolution of SPI-3 sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)998-1004
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1999


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