The role of the epidermal growth factor receptor in microbial infections of the gastrointestinal tract

Microbes Infect. 1999 Nov;1(13):1139-44. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(99)00201-4.


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) is a transmembrane glycoprotein with an intrinsic tyrosine kinase. Ligand-binding to the EGFr activates cell signaling, phosphorylates protein kinases, and rearranges cytoskeletal proteins - responses that resemble those induced by microbial attachment to cell surfaces, a process known to be mediated by host cell receptors in a number of cases. This article critically reviews the possible role played by the EGFr in microbial colonization, and discusses how modulation of the EGF-EGFr axis may affect infection of the gastrointestinal tract.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Bacterial Infections / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Eukaryota / metabolism
  • Eukaryota / pathogenicity
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / parasitology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / virology
  • Humans
  • Protozoan Infections / metabolism*
  • Protozoan Infections / parasitology
  • Virus Diseases / metabolism*
  • Virus Diseases / virology
  • Viruses / metabolism
  • Viruses / pathogenicity


  • ErbB Receptors