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Cell Microbiol. 2004 Feb;6(2):129-41.

Gene expression patterns of epithelial cells modulated by pathogenicity factors of Yersinia enterocolitica.

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Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Krankenhaushygiene, Universität Tübingen, Tuebingen, Germany.


Epithelial cells express genes whose products signal the presence of pathogenic microorganisms to the immune system. Pathogenicity factors of enteric bacteria modulate host cell gene expression. Using microarray technology we have profiled epithelial cell gene expression upon interaction with Yersinia enterocolitica. Yersinia enterocolitica wild-type and isogenic mutant strains were used to identify host genes modulated by invasin protein (Inv), which is involved in enteroinvasion, and Yersinia outer protein P (YopP) which inhibits innate immune responses. Among 22 283 probesets (14,239 unique genes), we found 193 probesets (165 genes) to be regulated by Yersinia infection. The majority of these genes were induced by Inv, whose recognition leads to expression of NF-kappa B-regulated factors such as cytokines and adhesion molecules. Yersinia virulence plasmid (pYV)-encoded factors counter regulated Inv-induced gene expression. Thus, YopP repressed Inv-induced NF-kappa B regulated genes at 2 h post infection whereas other pYV-encoded factors repressed host cell genes at 4 and 8 h post infection. Chromosomally encoded factors of Yersinia, other than Inv, induced expression of genes known to be induced by TGF-beta receptor signalling. These genes were also repressed by pYV-encoded factors. Only a few host genes were exclusively induced by pYV-encoded factors. We hypothesize that some of these genes may contribute to pYV-mediated silencing of host cells. In conclusion, the data demonstrates that epithelial cells express a limited number of genes upon interaction with enteric Yersinia. Both Inv and YopP appear to modulate gene expression in order to subvert epithelial cell functions involved in innate immunity.

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