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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2009 Oct;1(4):a003087. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a003087.

Listeria monocytogenes internalin and E-cadherin: from bench to bedside.

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  • 1Institut Pasteur, Unité des Interactions Bactéries-Cellules, Paris, F-75015, France.


Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive bacterium responsible for a severe infection associated with different clinical features (gastroenteritis, meningoencephalitis, and abortion in pregnant women). These pathologies are caused by the unusual capacity of the bacterium to cross three host barriers during infection and to invade nonphagocytic cells. To invade host cells, Listeria uses two proteins, InlA and InlB, which have specific receptors on the host-cell surface, E-cadherin and Met, respectively. Here, we discuss the specificity of the InlA-E-cadherin interaction, the signaling cascade activated on E-cadherin engagement by InlA, and the role of InlA and E-cadherin in the breaching of host barriers and the dissemination of the infection.

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