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Vet J. 2007 May;173(3):482-91. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

Engagement of integrins as a cellular route of invasion by bacterial pathogens.

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Dipartimento di Strutture, Funzioni e Tecnologie Biologiche, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via F. Delpino 1, 80137 Naples, Italy.


Integrins are heterodimeric receptors that mediate important cell functions, including cell adhesion, migration and tissue organisation. These transmembrane receptors regulate the direct association of cells with each other and with extracellular matrix proteins. However, by binding their ligands, integrins provide a transmembrane link for the bidirectional transmission of mechanical forces and biochemical signals across the plasma membrane. Interestingly, several of this family of receptors are exploited by pathogens to establish contact with the host cells. Hence, microbes subvert normal eukaryotic cell processes to create a specialised niche which allows their survival. This review highlights the fundamental role of integrins in bacterial pathogenesis.

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