Bacterial Invasins

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Some bacteria produce molecules called invasins that activate the host cell's cytoskeletal machinery enabling bacterial entry into the cell by phagocytosis. By entering the cytoplasm of the host cell, it has a ready supply of nutrients and is able to protect the bacteria from complement, antibodies, and certain other body defenses. Many bacteria use injectisomes, such as a type 3 secretion system, to inject effector molecules into the host cell's cytoplasm.

Flash animation illustrating the Function of a Type 3 Secretion System enabling Bacteria to Invade a Host Cell.jpg by Gary E. Kaiser, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology, The Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville Campus
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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Last updated: August, 2018
Please send comments and inquiries to Dr. Gary Kaiser