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Microb Pathog. 2002 Sep;33(3):135-43.

Mutation of csk, encoding the C-terminal Src kinase, reduces Pseudomonas aeruginosa internalization by mammalian cells and enhances bacterial cytotoxicity.

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Morton D. Sarver Laboratory for Cornea and Contact Lens Research, School of Optometry, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa are either invasive or cytotoxic towards mammalian epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and macrophages. Invasion requires host cell actin cytoskeleton function, and ExsA-regulated proteins of P. aeruginosa that inhibit invasion (ExoS and ExoT) can disrupt the cytoskeleton. Another ExsA regulated protein, ExoU, is involved in the cytotoxic activity of cytotoxic strains. Src-family kinases are thought to participate in the regulation of cytoskeleton function. Recent studies have suggested that Src-family tyrosine kinases, p60-Src and p59-Fyn, are activated during P. aeruginosa invasion. Using fibroblasts homozygous for mutation of csk (-/-), we tested the hypothesis that mutation of csk, encoding a negative regulator of Src-family tyrosine kinases, would be important in P. aeruginosa invasion and cytotoxicity. Mutation of csk was found to reduce invasion by approximately 8-fold, without reducing bacterial adherence to cells (P=0.0001). Conversely, csk (-/-) cells were approximately 5-fold more susceptible to ExoU-dependent cytotoxicity (P=0.024), which was accompanied by a small increase in ExsA-regulated adherence. ExoT-dependent invasion inhibitory activity of cytotoxic P. aeruginosa was attenuated in csk (-/-) cells as compared to normal fibroblasts. These data show that fibroblasts, like epithelial cells, are susceptible to P. aeruginosa invasion and cytotoxicity. They also show a role for Csk in P. aeruginosa invasion, while providing further evidence that actin cytoskeleton disruption contributes to ExsA-regulated P. aeruginosa cytotoxicity and invasion inhibition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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