Bacterial pathogens manipulate host cells to promote pathogen survival and dissemination. We used a 22,571 human cDNA microarray to identify host pathways that are affected by the Salmonella enterica subspecies typhimurium phoP gene, a transcription factor required for virulence, by comparing the expression profiles of human monocytic tissue culture cells infected with either the wild-type bacteria or a phoP∷Tn10 mutant strain. Both wild-type and phoP∷Tn10 bacteria induced a common set of genes, many of which are proinflammatory. Differentially expressed genes included those that affect host cell death, suggesting that the phoP regulatory system controls bacterial genes that alter macrophage survival. Subsequent experiments showed that the phoP∷Tn10 mutant strain is defective for killing both cultured and primary human macrophages but is able to replicate intracellularly. These experiments indicate that phoP plays a role in Salmonella-induced human macrophage cell death
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