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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Feb;6(1):43-9.

'Small' talk: Opa proteins as mediators of Neisseria-host-cell communication.

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Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, Universität Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.


Opa proteins are variable outer membrane proteins of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis that mediate tight interaction of these pathogens with human cells. They have emerged as a paradigm of a bacterial toolbox allowing recognition of different host receptors and orchestrating the cell type tropism displayed by pathogenic Neisseriae. Recent work has highlighted the molecular basis of Opa-protein-host-receptor interaction and has shed new light on the functional consequences of this interaction with regard to bacterial attachment, invasion, and responses elicited in particular host cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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