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Luo, L., Matthews, J.D., Robinson, B.S., Jones, R.M. (2019). Vibrio parahaemolyticus VopA Is a Potent Inhibitor of Cell Migration and Apoptosis in the Intestinal Epithelium of Drosophila melanogaster.  Infect. Immun. 87(3): e00669--e00618.
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Research paper

Animal models have played a key role in providing an understanding of the mechanisms that govern the pathophysiology of intestinal diseases. To expand on the repertoire of organisms available to study enteric diseases, we report on the use of the Drosophila melanogaster model to identify a novel function of an effector protein secreted by Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which is an enteric pathogen found in contaminated seafood. During pathogenesis, V. parahaemolyticus secretes effector proteins that usurp the host's innate immune signaling pathways, thus allowing the bacterium to evade detection by the innate immune system. One secreted effector protein, VopA, has potent inhibitory effects on mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways via the acetylation of critical residues within the catalytic loops of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MAPKKs). Using the Drosophila model and cultured mammalian cells, we show that VopA also has potent modulating activity on focal adhesion complex (FAC) proteins, where VopA markedly reduced the levels of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation at Ser910, whereas the phosphorylation levels of FAK at Tyr397 and Tyr861 were markedly increased. Cultured cells expressing VopA were also impaired in their ability to migrate and repopulate areas subjected to a scratch wound. Consistently, expression of VopA in Drosophila midgut enterocytes disrupted the normal enterocyte arrangement. Finally, VopA inhibited apoptosis in both Drosophila tissues and mammalian cultured cells. Together, our data show that VopA can alter normal intestinal homeostatic processes to facilitate opportunities for V. parahaemolyticus to prolong infection within the host.

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PMC6386545 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Infect. Immun.
    Infection and Immunity
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