Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 1398922
Infect. Immun. 1992 Oct;60(10):4088-99
Shigella flexneri causes bacillary dysentery, an invasive disease of colonic epithelial cells in humans. The capacity of bacteria, once they have entered into a cell and escaped the phagocytic vacuole, to spread intracellularly and directly to adjacent cells without further extracellular passage is a key factor in invasion of the epithelial layer. Movement of intracellular bacteria is dependent upon the polymerization of actin; concentration of the formed filaments to one end of the bacterium is associated with initiation of movement. This movement may lead to the formation of a protrusion at the cell surface through which the bacterium passes to an adjacent cell. Development of these protrusions in infected HeLa cells is described, with emphasis on two critical observations. First, initiation of movement is coupled with bacterial division since elongation of the bacterial body is associated with relocalization of the previously uniformly distributed layer of actin to one pole of the bacterium. Second, the actin-bundling protein plastin appears to bundle the actin filaments just posterior to the bacterium, producing an ongoing contraction of the cylindrical actin tail that may be associated with forward movement of the bacterium within the protrusion.