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Cell. 2000 Oct 27;103(3):501-10.

InIB-dependent internalization of Listeria is mediated by the Met receptor tyrosine kinase.

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Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The Listeria monocytogenes surface protein InlB promotes bacterial entry into mammalian cells. Here, we identify a cellular surface receptor required for InlB-mediated entry. Treatment of mammalian cells with InlB protein or infection with L. monocytogenes induces rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of Met, a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) for which the only known ligand is Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF). Like HGF, InlB binds to the extracellular domain of Met and induces "scattering" of epithelial cells. Experiments with Met-positive and Met-deficient cell lines demonstrate that Met is required for InlB-dependent entry of L. monocytogenes. InlB is a novel Met agonist that induces bacterial entry through exploitation of a host RTK pathway.

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