Saturday 15 March 2014

A pathogenic pathway — the influence of bacterial infection on host metabolism

Bacterial pathogens employ various strategies to interact with and subvert host defenses to promote survival and proliferation. Such subversion is often mediated by the specific interaction of bacterial effectors with host-encoded proteins and other molecules to modify host function.

In the current issue of Cell, scientists reported that the extracellular pathogenic bacterium group A Streptococcus (GAS) modulates host metabolism to regulate its own sensing and proliferation. GAS releases streptolysin toxins, leading to ER stress during adherence to host cells, which promotes the production of asparagine (ASN). The bacteria senses the released ASN, modifying the expression of about 17% of its genes. (2014, Cell 156, 97.)

Posted by Tim Sandle

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