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Microb Pathog. 2004 Nov;37(5):225-30.

Expression of IglC is necessary for intracellular growth and induction of apoptosis in murine macrophages by Francisella tularensis.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Bacteriology, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå, Sweden.


Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium capable of inducing apoptosis in murine macrophages. In a previous study, an iglC null mutant of F. tularensis live vaccine strain LVS was generated by allelic replacement and in the current study this iglC mutant was successfully complemented in trans. We characterized the capacity of this iglC mutant and the complemented strain to induce macrophage apoptosis. The iglC mutant did not induce apoptosis in the infected cells. In contrast, the complemented iglC strain was able to multiply in the murine macrophage-like cell line J774A.1 and induced apoptosis similar to that of the wild-type strain. It is the first successful example of complementation in trans of a F. tularensis mutant strain and more importantly this work provides direct evidence that the intracellular growth ability is essential for F. tularensis to induce macrophage apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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