The role of clathrin-dependent endocytosis in bacterial internalization

Trends Cell Biol. 2006 Oct;16(10):499-504. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2006.08.005. Epub 2006 Sep 8.


Internalization of bacteria into mammalian host cells has been studied extensively in the past two decades. These studies have highlighted the amazingly diverse strategies used by bacterial pathogens to induce their entry in non-phagocytic cells. The roles of actin and of the whole cytoskeletal machinery have been investigated in great detail for several invasive organisms, such as Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia and Listeria. Recent results using Listeria highlight a role for the endocytosis machinery in bacterial entry, suggesting that clathrin-dependent endocytic mechanisms are also involved in internalization of large particles. This contrasts with the generally accepted dogma but agrees with previous studies of bacterial and viral infections and also of phagocytosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Adhesion / physiology
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Clathrin / physiology*
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / physiology*
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Listeria monocytogenes / physiology
  • Mammals


  • Clathrin