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Int J Med Microbiol. 2001 Sep;291(4):307-14.

Signal transduction pathways induced by virulence factors of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

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Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology, Department of Molecular Biology, Berlin, Germany.


The obligate human pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae infects a variety of human tissues. In recent years, several host cell receptors for the major bacterial adhesins have been identified. While the knowledge of the molecular mechanism of colonisation has helped to understand special aspects of the infection, like the explicit tropism of gonococci for human tissues, the long-term consequences of engaging these receptors are still unknown. A variety of signalling pathways initiated by the activated receptors and by bacterial proteins transferred to the infected cell have been defined which include lipid second messenger, protein kinases, proteases and GTPases. These pathways control important steps of the infection, such as tight adhesion and invasion, the induction of cytokine release, and apoptosis. The detailed knowledge of bacteria-induced signalling pathways could allow the design of new therapeutic approaches which might be advantageous over the classical antibiotics therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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