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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 Jun 15;163(2):107-12.

Small GTP-binding proteins of the Rho- and Ras-subfamilies are not involved in the actin rearrangements induced by attaching and effacing Escherichia coli.

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Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen, Germany.


Attaching and effacing Escherichia coli (AEEC) are extracellular pathogens that induce the formation of actin-rich structures at their sites of attachment to eukaryotic host cells. We analysed whether small GTP-binding proteins of the Rho- and Ras-subfamilies, which control the cellular actin system, are essential for these bacterial-induced microfilament reorganizations. For this purpose we specifically inactivated them using the Clostridium difficile toxins TcdB-10463 and TcdB-1470. Such treatment led to a dramatic breakdown of the normal actin cytoskeleton, but did not abrogate the bacterial-induced actin rearrangements. Our data therefore indicate that the microfilament reorganizations induced by AEEC are independent of those small GTP-binding proteins that under normal conditions control the dynamics and maintenance of the actin cytoskeleton.

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