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Current Molecular Medicine


ISSN (Print): 1566-5240
ISSN (Online): 1875-5666

Autophagy and Toxins: A Matter of Life or Death

Author(s): M. B. Mestre and M. I. Colombo

Volume 13, Issue 2, 2013

Page: [241 - 251] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/1566524011313020002

Price: $65


Bacterial protein toxins are important virulence factors. A particular class of toxins, the pore-form toxins (PFTs), shares the toxigenic mechanism of forming pores in the membrane of target cells. The relationship between autophagy and bacterial PFTs has been described for several toxin-secreting pathogens and in this review we have recapitulated the more recent findings on this issue. A common outcome is that the target cell, by a yet non-completely defined mechanism, senses the toxin attack and builds up complex responses as a protective mechanism for host survival. However, in some cases, this cellular response is beneficial to the microorganism by supplying an intracellular niche or by promoting host-cell death, which facilitates pathogen spreading.

Keywords: Autophagy, intracellular pathogens, LC3, pore-forming toxins, phagophore, autophagosome, amphisome, biogenesis, , lipid phosphatidylethanolamine, stress, starvation, apoptosis, necrosis, Bcl-2, Beclin 1.

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