Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32582947
Link to DOI – 10.1093/infdis/jiaa367
J Infect Dis 2022 03; 225(6): 1005-1010
The bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes invades host cells, ruptures the internalization vacuole, and reaches the cytosol for replication. A high-content small interfering RNA (siRNA) microscopy screen allowed us to identify epithelial cell factors involved in L. monocytogenes vacuolar rupture, including the serine/threonine kinase Taok2. Kinase activity inhibition using a specific drug validated a role for Taok2 in favoring L. monocytogenes cytoplasmic access. Furthermore, we showed that Taok2 recruitment to L. monocytogenes vacuoles requires the presence of pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O. Overall, our study identified the first set of host factors modulating L. monocytogenes vacuolar rupture and cytoplasmic access in epithelial cells.