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J Exp Med. 1988 Apr 1;167(4):1459-71.

Role of hemolysin for the intracellular growth of Listeria monocytogenes.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


Listeria monocytogenes insertion mutants defective in hemolysin production were generated using the conjugative transposons Tn916 and Tn1545. All of the nonhemolytic mutants (hly-) lacked a secreted 58-kD polypeptide, presumedly hemolysin, and were avirulent in a mouse model. An intracellular multiplication assay was established in monolayers of mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages, the J774 macrophage-like cell line, the CL.7 embryonic mouse fibroblast cell line, and the Henle 407 human epithelial cell line. The hly+ strain grew intracellularly in all of the tissue culture cells with a doubling time of approximately 60 min. In contrast, the hly- mutants failed to grow in the murine-derived tissue culture cells, but retained the ability to grow in the human tissue culture cells examined. Hemolytic-positive revertants were selected after passage of the hly- mutants through monolayers of J774 cells. In each case, the hemolytic revertants possessed the 58-kD polypeptide, were capable of intracellular growth in tissue culture monolayers and were virulent for mice.

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