1887

Abstract

, the causative agent of diphtheria, has been thoroughly studied with respect to toxin production and pili formation, while knowledge on host responses to infection is limited. In this study, we studied adhesion to and invasion of epithelial cells by different isolates. When NFκ-B reporter cell lines were used to monitor the effect of infection on human cells, strain-specific differences were observed. While adhesion to host cells had no effect, a correlation of invasion rate with NFκ-B induction was found, which indicates that internalization of bacteria is crucial for NFκ-B induction. Immunofluorescence microscopy experiments used to support the reporter assays showed that translocation of p65, as a hallmark of NFκ-B induction, was only observed in association with cell invasion by . Our data indicate that the response of epithelial cells to infection is determined by internalization of bacteria and that invasion of these cells is an active process; tetracycline-treated was still able to attach to host cells, but lost its ability to invade the cytoplasm. Recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns such as pili subunits by membrane-bound receptors facing the outside of the cell is not sufficient for NFκ-B induction.

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2013-01-01
2019-10-19
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