Cell Biology

The Hole Story

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Science  23 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5781, pp. 1717-1719
DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5781.1717d

The actin cytoskeleton is responsible for controlling cell shape and function. Small Rhotype GTPases regulate actin dynamics and are often the target of bacterial virulence factors that commandeer actin and use it to promote bacterial invasion strategies. Boyer et al. describe how Staphylococcus aureus exploits this cellular machinery. S. aureus produces a protein known as EDIN (epidermal cell differentiation inhibitor), which induces large, transient, transcellular holes in endothelial cell layers. These macroapertures are large enough to allow the passage of bacteria across the endothelium basement membrane. It seems that EDIN acts by inhibiting RhoA; this results in the disruption of actin cables and promotes the production of actin-rich membrane waves, which open up the holes. — SMH

J. Cell Biol. 173, 809 (2006).

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