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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 1;106(35):14966-71. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0900527106. Epub 2009 Aug 17.

TLR4-mediated expulsion of bacteria from infected bladder epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Uropathogenic Escherichia coli invade bladder epithelial cells (BECs) by direct entry into specialized cAMP regulated exocytic compartments. Remarkably, a significant number of these intracellular bacteria are subsequently expelled in a nonlytic and piecemeal fashion by infected BECs. Here, we report that expulsion of intracellular E. coli by infected BECs is initiated by the pattern recognition receptor, Toll-like receptor (TLR)4, after activation by LPS. Also, we reveal that caveolin-1, Rab27b, PKA, and MyRIP are components of the exocytic compartment, and that they form a complex involved in the exocytosis of bacteria. This capacity of TLR4 to mediate the expulsion of intracellular bacteria from infected cells represents a previously unrecognized function for this innate immune receptor.

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