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Current Opinion in Microbiology
Vol. 17, 20
14; Page: 46 - 52

Maintenance of vacuole integrity by bacterial pathogens

Elizabeth A. Creasey, Ralph R. Isberg

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Tufts University School of Medicine, 150 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111, United States.


Many intracellular bacterial pathogens reside within a membrane-bound compartment. The biogenesis of these vacuolar compartments is complex, involving subversion of host cell secretory pathways by bacterial proteins. In recent years it has become clear that disruption of vacuole biogenesis may result in membrane rupture and escape of bacteria into the host cell cytosol. Correct modulation of the host cell cytoskeleton, signalling molecules such as small GTPases and the lipids of the vacuole membrane have all been shown to be critical in the maintenance of vacuole integrity. Increasing evidence suggests that vacuole rupture may result from aberrant mechanical forces exerted on the vacuole, possibly due to a defect in vacuole expansion.


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