A Role for Taok2 in Listeria monocytogenes Vacuolar Escape

J Infect Dis. 2022 Mar 15;225(6):1005-1010. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa367.


The bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes invades host cells, ruptures the internalization vacuole, and reaches the cytosol for replication. A high-content small interfering RNA (siRNA) microscopy screen allowed us to identify epithelial cell factors involved in L. monocytogenes vacuolar rupture, including the serine/threonine kinase Taok2. Kinase activity inhibition using a specific drug validated a role for Taok2 in favoring L. monocytogenes cytoplasmic access. Furthermore, we showed that Taok2 recruitment to L. monocytogenes vacuoles requires the presence of pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O. Overall, our study identified the first set of host factors modulating L. monocytogenes vacuolar rupture and cytoplasmic access in epithelial cells.

Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes; STE1-like kinase; Taok2; siRNA screen; vacuolar escape.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytoplasm
  • Cytosol
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Humans
  • Listeria monocytogenes*
  • Listeriosis* / microbiology
  • Vacuoles / microbiology
  • Vacuoles / physiology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Hemolysin Proteins