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Nat Chem Biol. 2011 Dec 15;8(1):36-45. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.741.

Bacteria and host interactions in the gut epithelial barrier.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


The gut mucosa acts as a barrier against microbial invaders, whereas resident commensal and foreign invading bacteria interact intimately with the gut epithelium and influence the host cellular and immune systems. The epithelial barrier serves as an infectious foothold for many bacterial pathogens and as an entry port for pathogens to disseminate into deeper tissues. Enteric bacterial pathogens can efficiently infect the gut mucosa using highly sophisticated virulence mechanisms that allow bacteria to circumvent the defense barriers in the gut. We provide an overview of the components of the mucosal barrier and discuss the bacterial stratagems that circumvent these barriers with particular emphasis on the roles of bacterial effector proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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