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Nature. 2001 Aug 16;412(6848):701-5.

Structural mimicry in bacterial virulence.

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  • 1Section of Microbial Pathogenesis, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06536, USA.


An important mechanism underlying the strategies used by microbial pathogens to manipulate cellular functions is that of functional mimicry of host activities. In some cases, mimicry is achieved through virulence factors that are direct homologues of host proteins. In others, convergent evolution has produced new effectors that, although having no obvious amino-acid sequence similarity to host factors, are revealed by structural studies to display mimicry at the molecular level.

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