Attachment of piliated, Opa- and Opc- gonococci and meningococci to epithelial cells elicits cortical actin rearrangements and clustering of tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins

A. J. Merz, M. So

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Scopus citations


Attachment of piliated Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Neisseria meningitidis cells to A431, Chang, HEC-1-B, or polarized T84 cells triggers rearrangements of cortical microfilaments and the accumulation of phosphotyrosine-containing proteins at sites of bacterial contact. Actin stress fibers and the microtubule network remain unaltered in infected cells. The rearrangements reported here are triggered by piliated, Opa- and Opc- strains and also by nonpiliated gonococci (GC) that produce the invasion- associated OpaA protein. Thus, neisserial adhesion via either of at least two different adhesins can trigger cortical rearrangements. In contrast, these rearrangements are not triggered by nonadherent GC or meningococcal strains, by heat-killed or chloramphenicol-treated GC strains, or by Escherichia coli recombinants that adhere to cells via GC OpaA or OpaI fusion proteins, suggesting that additional neisserial components are involved. Immunoblotting experiments did not detect consistent increases in the phosphorylation of specific proteins. Possible biological implications of these Neisseria- induced cortical rearrangements are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4341-4349
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 14 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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