Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a Gram-negative halophilic bacterium that causes acute gastroenteritis in humans, is characterized by two type III secretion systems (T3SS), namely T3SS1 and T3SS2. T3SS2 is indispensable for enterotoxicity but the effector(s) involved are unknown. Here, we identify VopV as a critical effector that is required to mediate V. parahaemolyticus T3SS2-dependent enterotoxicity. VopV was found to possess multiple F-actin-binding domains and the enterotoxicity caused by VopV correlated with its F-actin-binding activity. Furthermore, a T3SS2-related secretion system and a vopV homologous gene were also involved in the enterotoxicity of a non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae strain. These results indicate that the F-actin-targeting effector VopV is involved in enterotoxic activity of T3SS2-possessing bacterial pathogens.
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