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Mol Microbiol. 2009 Jun;72(5):1196-207. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06716.x. Epub 2009 Apr 30.

Involvement of CD44v6 in InlB-dependent Listeria invasion.

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1
Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institute for Toxicology and Genetics, Postfach 3640, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany.

Abstract

Listeria monocytogenes, a Gram-positive bacterium, is the causative agent for the disease called listeriosis. This pathogen utilizes host cell surface proteins such as E-cadherin or c-Met in order to invade eukaryotic cells. The invasion via c-Met depends on the bacterial protein InlB that activates c-Met phosphorylation and internalization mimicking in many regards HGF, the authentic c-Met ligand. In this paper, we demonstrate that the activation of c-Met induced by InlB is dependent on CD44v6, a member of the CD44 family of transmembrane glycoproteins. Inhibiting CD44v6 by means of a blocking peptide, a CD44v6 antibody or CD44v6-specific siRNA prevents the activation of c-Met induced by InlB. Subsequently, signalling, scattering and the entry of InlB-coated beads into host cells are also impaired by CD44v6 blocking reagents. For the entry process, ezrin, a protein that links the CD44v6 cytoplasmic domain to the cytoskeleton, is required as well. Most importantly, this collaboration between c-Met and CD44v6 contributes to the invasion of L. monocytogenes into target cells as demonstrated by a drastic decrease in bacterial invasion in the presence of blocking agents such as the CD44v6 peptide or antibody.

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