The metabolism of S. Typhimurium within infected host cells plays a fundamental role in virulence since it enables intracellular proliferation and dissemination and affects the innate immune response. An essential requirement for the intracellular replication of S. Typhimurium is the need to regenerate ATP. The metabolic route used to fulfil this requirement is the subject of the present study. For infection models we used human and murine epithelial and macrophage cell lines. The epithelial cell lines were mICc12 , a transimmortalised murine colon enterocyte cell line that shows many of the characteristics of a primary epithelial cell line, and HeLa cells. The model macrophage cell lines were THP-1A human monocyte/ macrophages and RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. Using a mutational approach combined with an exometabolomic analysis, we showed that neither fermentative metabolism nor anaerobic respiration play major roles in energy generation in any of the cell lines studied. Rather, we identified overflow metabolism to acetate and lactate as the foremost route by which S. Typhimurium fulfils its energy requirements.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, grant number BB/J001007/1 to AT and DK. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.