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The Escherichia coli protein toxin cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1 induces epithelial mesenchymal transition

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Some toxigenic bacteria produce protein toxins with carcinogenic signatures, which either directly damage DNA or stimulate signalling pathways related to cancer. So far, however, only a few of them have been proved to favour the induction or progression of cancer. In this work, we report that the Rho-activating Escherichia coli protein toxin, cytotoxic necrotising factor 1 (CNF1), induces epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in intestinal epithelial cells. EMT is a crucial step in malignant tumour conversion and invasiveness. In the case of CNF1, it occurs by up-regulation of the transcription factors ZEB1 and Snail1, delocalisation of E-cadherin and β-catenin, activation of the serine/threonine kinase mTOR, accelerated wound healing, and invasion. However, our results highlight that nontransformed epithelial cells entail the presence of inflammatory factors, in addition to CNF1, to acquire a mesenchymal-like behaviour. All this suggests that the surrounding microenvironment, as well as the cell type, dramatically influences the CNF1 ability to promote carcinogenic traits.

TidsskriftCellular Microbiology
Udgave nummer2
StatusUdgivet - 2020

ID: 235589642