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A bacterial encoded protein induces extreme multinucleation and cell-cell internalization in intestinal cells

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Dean, Professor Brendan KennyORCiD



Despite extensive study, the molecular mechanisms that lead to multinucleation and cell enlargement (hypertrophy) remain poorly understood. Here, we show that a single bacterial virulence protein, EspF, from the human pathogen enteropathogenic E. coli induces extreme multi-nucleation in small intestinal epithelial cells. Ectopic expression of EspF induced cell-cell internalization events, presumably responsible for the enlarged multinucleated cells. These extreme phenotypes were dependent on a C-terminal polyproline-rich domain in EspF and not linked to the targeting of mitochondria or the nucleolus. The subversive functions of EspF may provide valuable insight into the molecular mechanisms that mediate cell fusion, multinucleation and cell hypertrophy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dean P, Kenny B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Tissue Barriers

Year: 2013

Volume: 1

Issue: 1

Print publication date: 01/03/2013

Date deposited: 08/02/2013

ISSN (print): 2168-8362

ISSN (electronic): 2168-8370

Publisher: Landes Bioscience


DOI: 10.4161/tisb.22639

Notes: Article no. e22639 is 6 pp.


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