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Microbiol Spectr. 2019 Jan;7(1). doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.PSIB-0001-2018.

Outer Membrane Vesicle-Host Cell Interactions.

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Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne Dental School, Bio21 Institute, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia.
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030.


Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) are nanosized proteoliposomes derived from the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. They are ubiquitously produced both in culture and during infection and are now recognized to play crucial roles during host-microbe interactions. OMVs can transport a broad range of chemically diverse cargoes, including lipids and lipopolysaccharides, membrane-embedded and associated proteins and small molecules, peptidoglycan, and nucleic acids. Particularly, virulence factors such as adhesins and toxins are often enriched in OMVs. Here we discuss a variety of ways in which OMVs facilitate host-microbe interactions, including their contributions to biofilm formation, nutrient scavenging, and modulation of host cell function. We particularly examine recent findings regarding OMV-host cell interactions in the oral cavity and the gastrointestinal tract.

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