Comparing human-Salmonella with plant-Salmonella protein-protein interaction predictions

Sylvia Schleker, Meghana Kshirsagar, Judith Klein-Seetharaman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Salmonellosis is the most frequent foodborne disease worldwide and can be transmitted to humans by a variety of routes, especially via animal and plant products. Salmonella bacteria are believed to use not only animal and human but also plant hosts despite their evolutionary distance. This raises the question if Salmonella employs similar mechanisms in infection of these diverse hosts. Given that most of our understanding comes from its interaction with human hosts, we investigate here to what degree knowledge of Salmonella-human interactions can be transferred to the Salmonella-plant system. Reviewed are recent publications on analysis and prediction of Salmonella-host interactomes. Putative protein-protein interactions (PPIs) between Salmonella and its human and Arabidopsis hosts were retrieved utilizing purely interolog-based approaches in which predictions were inferred based on available sequence and domain information of known PPIs, and machine learning approaches that integrate a larger set of useful information from different sources. Transfer learning is an especially suitable machine learning technique to predict plant host targets from the knowledge of human host targets. A comparison of the prediction results with transcriptomic data shows a clear overlap between the host proteins predicted to be targeted by PPIs and their gene ontology enrichment in both host species and regulation of gene expression. In particular, the cellular processes Salmonella interferes with in plants and humans are catabolic processes. The details of how these processes are targeted, however, are quite different between the two organisms, as expected based on their evolutionary and habitat differences. Possible implications of this observation on evolution of host-pathogen communication are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberJAN
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Interactome
  • Pathways
  • Prediction
  • Systems biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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