Cell-surface nucleolin is sequestered into EPEC microcolonies and may play a role during infection

Paul Dean, Brendan Kenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Nucleolin is a prominent nucleolar protein that is mobilized into the cytoplasm during infection by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). Nucleolin also exists at low levels at the cell surface of eukaryotic cells and here we show that upon infection of an intestinal cell model, EPEC recruits and subsequently sequesters cell-surface EGFP-nucleolin into extracellularly located bacterial microcolonies. The recruitment of nucleolin was evident around bacteria within the centre of the microcolonies that were not directly associated with actin-based pedestals. Incubation of host intestinal cells with different ligands that specifically bind nucleolin impaired the ability of EPEC to disrupt epithelial barrier function but did not inhibit bacterial attachment or other effector-driven processes such as pedestal formation or microvilli effacement. Taken together, this work suggests that EPEC exploits two spatially distinct pools of nucleolin during the infection process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1761-1767
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


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