Surfing pathogens and the lessons learned for actin polymerization

Trends Cell Biol. 2001 Jan;11(1):30-38. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(00)01871-7.


A number of unrelated bacterial species as well as vaccinia virus (ab)use the process of actin polymerization to facilitate and enhance their infection cycle. Studies into the mechanism by which these pathogens hijack and control the actin cytoskeleton have provided many interesting insights into the regulation of actin polymerization in migrating cells. This review focuses on what we have learnt from the actin-based motilities of Listeria, Shigella and vaccinia and discusses what we would still like to learn from our nasty friends, including enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and Rickettsia

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actin-Related Protein 2
  • Actin-Related Protein 3
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Actins / physiology*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins*
  • Cytoskeleton / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity
  • Listeria / pathogenicity*
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology
  • Polymers
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Rickettsia / pathogenicity
  • Shigella / pathogenicity*
  • Vaccinia virus / pathogenicity*
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein, Neuronal
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism


  • Actin-Related Protein 2
  • Actin-Related Protein 3
  • Actins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Polymers
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein, Neuronal
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein