MoLife Research Seminar by:
Dr. Monica Hagedorn, Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany
How Mycobacteria exit their host cell... and close the door behind them
Tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, remains a major cause of death in the world. Despite decades of research little is known about the way M. tuberculosis establishes a replication niche within its host cell and spreads from cell to cell. Working with M. tuberculosis is difficult and dangerous which is why alternative models are used to investigate bacterial virulence and basic host cell defence mechanisms.
M. marinum, a close relative of M. tuberculosis, efficiently infects the professional phagocyte Dictyostelium discoideum. Taking advantage of the genetic and biochemical tractability of this system we discovered a novel mechanism by which the bacteria spread from cell to cell. Several cellular machineries, such as the autophagic machinery and the ESCRT complex are known to be involved in this process, however, recruitment and molecular interactions remain to be elucidated.