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Trends Cell Biol. 2005 Jan;15(1):2-5.

Ubiquitination of intracellular bacteria: a new bacteria-sensing system?

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  • 1Unité des Interactions Bactéries-Cellules, Institut Pasteur, INSERM U 604, USC INRA, 28 rue du Dr Roux, Paris CEDEX 15, France.


Ubiquitination is a protein modification generally used by cells to tag proteins that are destined for proteasomal degradation. In a recent article, Perrin et al. reported that the ubiquitination system has a role in the recognition of bacterial pathogens in the cytosol of mammalian cells. They showed that polyubiquitinated proteins accumulate on the surface of cytosolic Salmonella typhimurium. In macrophages, but not epithelial cells, proteasomes become associated with the surface of cytosolic bacteria. The authors proposed that the ubiquitin-proteasome machinery might be implicated indirectly in bacterial clearance.

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