Bacterial outer membrane vesicles and host cell death signaling

Subhash Dhital, Pankaj Deo, Isabella Stuart, Thomas Naderer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The programmed cell death pathways of pyroptosis and apoptosis protect mammals from infections. The activation of host cell death signaling depends on cell surface and cytosolic receptors that bind bacterial molecules or sense their activity. The formation of cytosolic protein complexes, such as the inflammasome and apoptosome, activates caspases, pore-forming proteins, and inflammatory cytokines. These pathways respond to bacteria and their released membrane vesicles. Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) that emerge from the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria deliver a range of bacterial molecules, including lipids, proteins, polysaccharides and nucleic acids to host cells. Recent findings describe how OMV-associated molecules activate pyroptosis, apoptosis, and other inflammatory pathways. We discuss here how OMV-associated molecules are sensed by the immune system and how this contributes to infections and inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1106-1116
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • apoptosis
  • inflammasome
  • inflammation
  • macrophage
  • OMV
  • pyroptosis

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