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FEBS Lett. 2010 Jun 3;584(11):2445-54. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2010.04.050. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

Endoplasmic reticulum stress response is involved in Mycobacterium tuberculosis protein ESAT-6-mediated apoptosis.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, South Korea.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection leads to the induction of the apoptotic response, which is associated with bacilli killing. The early secreted mycobacterial antigen ESAT-6 of Mtb has been shown to induce apoptosis in human macrophages and epithelial cells. In the present study, we demonstrate that the stimulation of human epithelial A549 cells by ESAT-6 induces the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response. We observed that ESAT-6 treatment increases intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, which results in ROS accumulation, and therefore induces the onset of ER stress-induced apoptosis. Our results uncover a novel apoptotic mechanism of ESAT-6 through ER stress responses in pathologic conditions such as tuberculosis.

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