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Role of host exocytosis in infection of human cells by Listeria monocytogenes

43 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Keith Ireton
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Listeria monocytogenes is a potentially deadly cause of food-borne illnesses including meningitis and abortion. Listeria is internalised into human cells and spreads from infected cells to neighbouring healthy cells by generating 'protrusions' - bacteria encased in finger-like projections of the host plasma membrane. How protrusions form and elongate to allow cell-to-cell spread is poorly understood. This proposal tests the novel hypothesis that Listeria subverts the function of a human complex called the exocyst to direct the insertion of host-derived membrane that fuels the growth of protrusions.