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Trends Microbiol. 2005 Feb;13(2):79-85.

Bacterial metastasis: the host plasminogen system in bacterial invasion.

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General Microbiology, Faculty of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland.


Several pathogenic bacterial species intervene with the mammalian proteolytic plasminogen-plasmin system. Recent developments have been made in understanding the structure and the virulence-associated functions of bacterial plasminogen receptors and activators, in particular by using plasminogen-deficient or transgenic gain-of-function mice. Bacteria can affect the regulation of the plasminogen system by degrading circulating plasmin inhibitors and by influencing the expression levels of mammalian plasminogen activators and activation inhibitors. Interaction with the plasminogen system promotes damage of extracellular matrices as well as bacterial spread and organ invasion during infection, suggesting common mechanisms in migration of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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