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VirA, an essential virulence factor in Shigella disease pathogenesis, is involved in the uptake, motility, and cell-to-cell spread of Shigella organisms within the human host. These functions have been attributed to a VirA protease activity and a mechanism of microtubule destruction via tubulin degradation [Yoshida, S., et al. (2006) Science 314, 985-989]. We report functional and crystallographic data indicating a novel VirA structure that lacks these activities but highlights the homology to the EspG virulence factor of pathogenic Escherichia coli.