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Mol Cell. 1999 Dec;4(6):1063-72.

Structure of the lnlB leucine-rich repeats, a domain that triggers host cell invasion by the bacterial pathogen L. monocytogenes.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0314, USA.


The L. monocytogenes protein lnlB activates phosphoinositide 3-kinase and induces phagocytosis in several mammalian cell types. The 1.86 A resolution X-ray crystal structure of the leucine-rich repeat domain of lnlB that is both necessary and sufficient to induce phagocytosis is presented here. The structure supports a crucial role for calcium in host cell invasion by L. monocytogenes and supplies a rationale for its function. Calciums are bound to the protein in an unusually exposed manner that suggests that the metals may act as a bridge between lnlB and mammalian cell surface receptors. The structure also identifies surfaces on the curved and elongated molecule that may constitute additional interaction sites in forming a bacterial-mammalian signaling complex.

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