MBio 10 (3) - [2019-05-21; online 2019-05-21]
Bacterial host cell invasion mechanisms depend on the bacterium's virulence factors and the properties of the target cell. The enteropathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (STm) invades epithelial cell types in the gut mucosa and a variety of immune cell types at later infection stages. The molecular mechanism(s) of host cell entry has, however, been studied predominantly in epithelial cell lines. STm uses a type three secretion system (TTSS-1) to translocate effectors into the host cell cytosol, thereby sparking actin ruffle-dependent entry. The ruffles also fuel cooperative invasion by bystander bacteria. In addition, several TTSS-1-independent entry mechanisms exist, involving alternative STm virulence factors, or the passive uptake of bacteria by phagocytosis. However, it remains ill-defined how STm invasion mechanisms vary between host cells. Here, we developed an internally controlled and scalable method to map STm invasion mechanisms across host cell types and conditions. The method relies on host cell infections with consortia of chromosomally tagged wild-type and mutant STm strains, where the abundance of each strain can be quantified by qPCR or amplicon sequencing. Using this methodology, we quantified cooccurring TTSS-1-dependent, cooperative, and TTSS-1-independent invasion events in epithelial, monocyte, and macrophage cells. We found STm invasion of epithelial cells and monocytes to proceed by a similar MOI-dependent mix of TTSS-1-dependent and cooperative mechanisms. TTSS-1-independent entry was more frequent in macrophages. Still, TTSS-1-dependent invasion dominated during the first minutes of interaction also with this cell type. Finally, the combined action of the SopB/SopE/SopE2 effectors was sufficient to explain TTSS-1-dependent invasion across both epithelial and phagocytic cells.IMPORTANCE Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (STm) is a widespread and broad-host-spectrum enteropathogen with the capacity to invade diverse cell types. Still, the molecular basis for the host cell invasion process has largely been inferred from studies of a few selected cell lines. Our work resolves the mechanisms that Salmonellae employ to invade prototypical host cell types, i.e., human epithelial, monocyte, and macrophage cells, at a previously unattainable level of temporal and quantitative precision. This highlights efficient bacterium-driven entry into innate immune cells and uncovers a type III secretion system effector module that dominates active bacterial invasion of not only epithelial cells but also monocytes and macrophages. The results are derived from a generalizable method, where we combine barcoding of the bacterial chromosome with mixed consortium infections of cultured host cells. The application of this methodology across bacterial species and infection models will provide a scalable means to address host-pathogen interactions in diverse contexts.