Autophagy defends cells against invading group A Streptococcus

Science. 2004 Nov 5;306(5698):1037-40. doi: 10.1126/science.1103966.


We found that the autophagic machinery could effectively eliminate pathogenic group A Streptococcus (GAS) within nonphagocytic cells. After escaping from endosomes into the cytoplasm, GAS became enveloped by autophagosome-like compartments and were killed upon fusion of these compartments with lysosomes. In autophagy-deficient Atg5-/- cells, GAS survived, multiplied, and were released from the cells. Thus, the autophagic machinery can act as an innate defense system against invading pathogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Lysosomes / physiology
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / immunology*