Autophagy Defends Cells Against Invading Group A Streptococcus

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Science  05 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5698, pp. 1037-1040
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103966

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We found that the autophagic machinery could effectively eliminate pathogenic group A Streptococcus (GAS) within nonphagocytic cells. After escaping from endosomes into the cytoplasm, GAS became enveloped by autophagosome-like compartments and were killed upon fusion of these compartments with lysosomes. In autophagy-deficient Atg5–/– cells, GAS survived, multiplied, and were released from the cells. Thus, the autophagic machinery can act as an innate defense system against invading pathogens.

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