The T3SS effector EspT defines a new category of invasive enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) which form intracellular actin pedestals

Richard Bulgin, Ana Arbeloa, David Goulding, Gordon Dougan, Valerie F. Crepin, Benoit Raymond, Gad Frankel

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains are defined as extracellular pathogens which nucleate actin rich pedestallike membrane extensions on intestinal enterocytes to which they intimately adhere. EPEC infection is mediated by type III secretion system effectors, which modulate host cell signaling. Recently we have shown that the WxxxE effector EspT activates Rac1 and Cdc42 leading to formation of membrane ruffles and lamellipodia. Here we report that EspT-induced membrane ruffles facilitate EPEC invasion into non-phagocytic cells in a process involving Rac1 and Wave2. Internalized EPEC resides within a vacuole and Tir is localized to the vacuolar membrane, resulting in actin polymerization and formation of intracellular pedestals. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time a pathogen has been shown to induce formation of actin comets across a vacuole membrane. Moreover, our data breaks the dogma of EPEC as an extracellular pathogen and defines a new category of invasive EPEC.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1000683
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

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