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Actin-based motility of bacterial pathogens: mechanistic diversity and its impact on virulence.


A diverse spectrum of intracellular bacterial pathogens that inhabit the cytosol have evolved the ability to polymerize actin on their surface to power intracellular actin-based motility (ABM). These include species of Listeria, Burkholderia and Rickettsia, as well as Shigella and Mycobacteria Here, we provide an overview of the roles of bacterial ABM in survival and virulence. Moreover, we survey the molecular mechanisms of actin polymerization in host cells and describe how bacterial pathogens mimic or harness the full diversity of these mechanisms for ABM. Finally, we present ABM through a new lens by comparing motility mechanisms between related species of Listeria, Burkholderia, and Rickettsia Through these comparisons, we hope to illuminate how exploitation of different actin polymerization mechanisms influences ABM as well as pathogenicity and virulence in humans and other animals.

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