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Methods. 2000 Jun;21(2):125-32.

Plasminogen activation in degradation and penetration of extracellular matrices and basement membranes by invasive bacteria.

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Division of General Microbiology, the Haartman Institute, Helsinki, Finland.


Methods to assess in vitro the role of plasminogen activation in enterobacterial degradation of extracellular matrices and their protein components as well as in penetration through basement membrane are described. Development of these methods was initiated after the findings that enterobacterial surface structures (fimbriae and the Pla surface protease) function in plasminogen activation as well as in laminin- and/or fibronectin-specific adhesion. Enterobacteria with these properties degrade radiolabeled laminin as well as metabolically labeled extracellular matrix from cultured endothelial or epithelial cells. Plasmin-coated bacteria also penetrate through the reconstituted basement membrane preparation Matrigel. The processes are dependent on plasminogen activation by the invasive bacteria. The results suggest a pathogenic similarity between enterobacteria and tumor cells in cellular metastasis through tissue barriers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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