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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter September 28, 2012

Modulation of host microtubule dynamics by pathogenic bacteria

Girish K. Radhakrishnan and Gary A. Splitter EMAIL logo
From the journal BioMolecular Concepts


The eukaryotic cytoskeleton is a vulnerable target of many microbial pathogens during the course of infection. Rearrangements of host cytoskeleton benefit microbes in various stages of their infection cycle such as invasion, motility, and persistence. Bacterial pathogens deliver a number of effector proteins into host cells for modulating the dynamics of actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. Alteration of the actin cytoskeleton is generally achieved by bacterial effectors that target the small GTPases of the host. Modulation of microtubule dynamics involves direct interaction of effector proteins with the subunits of microtubules or recruiting cellular proteins that affect microtubule dynamics. This review will discuss effector proteins from animal and human bacterial pathogens that either destabilize or stabilize host microtubules to advance the infectious process. A compilation of these research findings will provide an overview of known and unknown strategies used by various bacterial effectors to modulate the host microtubule dynamics. The present review will undoubtedly help direct future research to determine the mechanisms of action of many bacterial effector proteins and contribute to understanding the survival strategies of diverse adherent and invasive bacterial pathogens.

Corresponding author

Received: 2012-7-20
Accepted: 2012-8-29
Published Online: 2012-09-28
Published in Print: 2012-12-01

©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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