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Autophagy. 2011 Jul;7(7):780-2. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Autophagy and the cytoskeleton: new links revealed by intracellular pathogens.

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Institut Pasteur, Unité des Interactions Bactéries-Cellules, Paris, France.


Actin-based motility is used by various pathogens such as Listeria and Shigella for dissemination within cells: and tissues, yet host factors counteracting this process have not been identified. We have recently discovered that infected host cells can prevent actin-based motility of Shigella by compartmentalizing bacteria inside 'septin cages,' revealing a novel mechanism of host defense that restricts dissemination. Because bacterial proteins controlling actin-based motility also regulate the autophagy process, we hypothesized and then established a link between septin caging and autophagy. Together, these results unveiled the first cellular mechanism that counteracts pathogen dissemination. Understanding the role of septins, a so far poorly characterized component of the cytoskeleton, will thus provide new insights into bacterial infection and autophagy.

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