GSBS Student Publications


The ability of an attaching and effacing pathogen to trigger localized actin assembly contributes to virulence by promoting mucosal attachment

Student Author(s)

Emily M. Mallick

GSBS Program

Immunology & Microbiology

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems; Department of Pathology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Actins; Animals; Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli; Escherichia coli Infections; HeLa Cells; Humans; Intestinal Mucosa; Mice; Shiga Toxin; Virulence


Cell and Developmental Biology | Cell Biology | Microbiology | Pathogenic Microbiology


Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) colonizes the intestine and causes bloody diarrhoea and kidney failure by producing Shiga toxin. Upon binding intestinal cells, EHEC triggers a change in host cell shape, generating actin 'pedestals' beneath bound bacteria. To investigate the importance of pedestal formation to disease, we infected genetically engineered mice incapable of supporting pedestal formation by an EHEC-like mouse pathogen, or wild type mice with a mutant of that pathogen incapable of generating pedestals. We found that pedestal formation promotes attachment of bacteria to the intestinal mucosa and vastly increases the severity of Shiga toxin-mediated disease.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Cell Microbiol. 2014 Sep;16(9):1405-24. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12302. Epub 2014 Jun 2. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

Cellular microbiology

PubMed ID