GSBS Student Publications


Exploiting pathogenic Escherichia coli to model transmembrane receptor signalling

GSBS Program

Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Adaptation, Physiological; Cytoskeleton; Escherichia coli; Eukaryotic Cells; *Signal Transduction; Virulence Factors


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Many microbial pathogens manipulate the actin cytoskeleton of eukaryotic target cells to promote their internalization, intracellular motility and dissemination. Enteropathogenic and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli, which both cause severe diarrhoeal disease, can adhere to mammalian intestinal cells and induce reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton into 'pedestal-like' pseudopods beneath the extracellular bacteria. As pedestal assembly is triggered by E. coli virulence factors that mimic several host cell-signalling components, such as transmembrane receptors, their cognate ligands and cytoplasmic adaptor proteins, it can serve as a powerful model system to study eukaryotic transmembrane signalling. Here, we consider the impact of recent data on our understanding of both E. coli pathogenesis and cell biology, and the rich prospects for exploiting these bacterial factors as versatile tools to probe cellular signalling pathways.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 May;4(5):358-70. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version


Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

Journal Title

Nature reviews. Microbiology

PubMed ID