Quantitative Yeast Genetic Interaction Profiling of Bacterial Effector Proteins Uncovers a Role for the Human Retromer in Salmonella Infection

Kristin L. Patrick, Jason A. Wojcechowskyj, Samantha L. Bell, Morgan N. Riba, Tao Jing, Sara Talmage, Pengbiao Xu, Ana L. Cabello, Jiewei Xu, Michael Shales, David Jimenez-Morales, Thomas A. Ficht, Paul de Figueiredo, James E. Samuel, Pingwei Li, Nevan J. Krogan, Robert O. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Intracellular bacterial pathogens secrete a repertoire of effector proteins into host cells that are required to hijack cellular pathways and cause disease. Despite decades of research, the molecular functions of most bacterial effectors remain unclear. To address this gap, we generated quantitative genetic interaction profiles between 36 validated and putative effectors from three evolutionarily divergent human bacterial pathogens and 4,190 yeast deletion strains. Correlating effector-generated profiles with those of yeast mutants, we recapitulated known biology for several effectors with remarkable specificity and predicted previously unknown functions for others. Biochemical and functional validation in human cells revealed a role for an uncharacterized component of the Salmonella SPI-2 translocon, SseC, in regulating maintenance of the Salmonella vacuole through interactions with components of the host retromer complex. These results exhibit the power of genetic interaction profiling to discover and dissect complex biology at the host-pathogen interface. Despite playing a crucial role in virulence, the molecular targets of most bacterial effector proteins remain completely unknown. Using budding yeast as a heterologous host, we generated genetic interaction profiles for 36 bacterial effector proteins and validated target pathways/complexes predicted by our yeast screen with experiments in human cells. We report that the Salmonella protein SseC binds to and modulates the human retromer complex, which is required for maintenance of the Salmonella-containing vacuole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-338.e6
JournalCell Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 26 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


  • bacterial effector protein
  • E-MAP
  • genetic interaction profile
  • host-pathogen interaction
  • intracellular bacteria
  • retromer complex
  • Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium


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