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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;984:131-40. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4315-1_7.

Coxiella subversion of intracellular host signaling.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W. Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.


Coxiella burnetii is a highly infectious bacterial pathogen that replicates in a specialized vacuole inside eukaryotic cells. Due to a prolonged growth cycle, Coxiella continuously manipulates cellular processes to generate this parasitophorous vacuole (PV) and promote host cell viability. Here, we discuss recent findings that indicate Coxiella modulates several host signaling pathways to influence survival and ensure intracellular replication. The pathogen actively inhibits apoptotic cell death and activates the pro-survival kinases Akt and Erk1/2 to promote host viability. Coxiella's anti-apoptotic activity also involves the interface between autophagy and apoptosis, which is regulated by the interaction of autophagy-related Beclin-1 and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2. Additionally, Coxiella requires host kinase activity for PV biogenesis and maintenance. Thus, signaling modulation by Coxiella is critical for multiple aspects of host cell parasitism. Collectively, recent signaling studies have enhanced our understanding of the unique Coxiella-host cell interaction. Identification of bacterial factors that regulate signaling events will further our ability to model this intriguing infectious process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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