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Bacteria in bondage

Cells unleash proteins to cage unwanted invaders

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1:55pm, December 6, 2011

DENVER Cells can trap some invading bacteria and slate them for destruction, a new study shows.

Serge Mostowy and Pascale Cossart of the Pasteur Institute in Paris discovered that when a type of diarrhea-causing bacteria called Shigella get inside cells, the cells fight back by encasing 10 to 30 percent of the bacteria in cages made of proteins called septins.

The cells then digest the trapped bacteria in a cellular process called autophagy, Cossart said December 4 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology. The entrapment strategy works only on bacteria that are actively grabbing a cell

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