Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 36594661
Link to DOI – jcs26050910.1242/jcs.260509
J Cell Sci 2023 Jan; 136(1):
Bacterial infection is a major threat to human health, with infections resulting in considerable mortality, urging the need for a more profound understanding of bacteria-host interactions. During infection of cells, host cytoskeletal networks constantly interact with bacteria and are integral to their uptake. Vimentin, an intermediate filament protein, is one such cytoskeletal component that interacts with bacteria during infection. Although vimentin is predominantly present in the cytoplasm, it also appears in a secreted form or at the surface of multiple cell types, including epithelial cells, endothelial cells, macrophages and fibroblasts. As a cytoplasmic protein, vimentin participates in bacterial transportation and the consequential immune-inflammatory responses. When expressed on the cell surface, vimentin can be both pro- and anti-bacterial, favoring bacterial invasion in some contexts, but also limiting bacterial survival in others. Vimentin is also secreted and located extracellularly, where it is primarily involved in bacterial-induced inflammation regulation. Reciprocally, bacteria can also manipulate the fate of vimentin in host cells. Given that vimentin is not only involved in bacterial infection, but also the associated life-threatening inflammation, the use of vimentin-targeted drugs might offer a synergistic advantage. In this Review, we recapitulate the abundant evidence on vimentin and its dynamic changes in bacterial infection and speculate on its potential as an anti-bacterial therapeutic target.