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    ABSTRACT: Galectin-3 is expressed and secreted by immune cells and has been implicated in multiple aspects of the inflammatory response. It is a glycan binding protein which can exert its functions within cells or exogenously by binding cell surface ligands, acting as a molecular bridge or activating signalling pathways. In addition, this lectin has been shown to bind to microorganisms. In this study we investigated the interaction between galectin-3 and Neisseria meningitidis, an important extracellular human pathogen, which is a leading cause of septicaemia and meningitis. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that galectin-3 is expressed during meningococcal disease and colocalizes with bacterial colonies in infected tissues from patients. We show that galectin-3 binds to N. meningitidis and we demonstrate that this interaction requiresfull-length, intact lipopolysaccharide molecules. We found that neither exogenous nor endogenous galectin-3 contributes to phagocytosis of N. meningitidis; instead exogenous galectin-3 increases adhesion to monocytes and macrophages but not epithelial cells. Finally we used galectin-3 deficient (Gal-3(-/-) ) mice to evaluate the contribution of galectin-3 to meningococcal bacteraemia. We found that Gal-3(-/-) mice had significantly lower levels of bacteraemia compared with wild-type mice after challenge with live bacteria, indicating that galectin-3 confers an advantage to N. meningitidis during systemic infection.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Cellular Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: The adaptor protein Nck has been shown to link receptor ligation to actin-based signalling in a diverse range of cellular events, such as changes in cell morphology and motility. It has also been implicated in phagocytosis. However, its molecular role in controlling actin remodelling associated with phagocytic uptake remains to be clarified. Here, we show that Nck, which is recruited to phagocytic cups, is required for Fcγ receptor (FcγR)- but not complement receptor 3 (CR3)-induced phagocytosis. Nck recruitment in response to FcγR ligation is mediated by the phosphorylation of tyrosine 282 and 298 in the ITAM motif in the cytoplasmic tail of the receptor. In the absence of FcγR phosphorylation, there is also no recruitment of N-WASP or Cdc42 to phagocytic cups. Nck promotes FcγR-mediated phagocytosis by recruiting N-WASP to phagocytic cups. Efficient phagocytosis, however, only occurs, if the CRIB domain of N-WASP can also interact with Cdc42. Our observations demonstrate that Nck and Cdc42 collaborate to stimulate N-WASP-dependent FcγR-mediated phagocytosis.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of Cell Science
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    ABSTRACT: Enteric Escherichia coli (E. coli) are both natural flora of humans and important pathogens causing significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Traditionally enteric E. coli have been divided into 6 pathotypes, with further pathotypes often proposed. In this review we suggest expansion of the enteric E. coli into 8 pathotypes to include the emerging pathotypes of adherent invasive E. coli (AIEC) and Shiga-toxin producing enteroaggregative E. coli (STEAEC). The molecular mechanisms that allow enteric E. coli to colonize and cause disease in the human host are examined and for two of the pathotypes that express a type 3 secretion system (T3SS) we discuss the complex interplay between translocated effectors and manipulation of host cell signaling pathways that occurs during infection.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Gut Microbes
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