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.
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.