Listeriolysin O activates mitogen-activated protein kinase in eucaryotic cells

Patrick Tang, Ilan Rosenshine, Pascale Cossart, B. Brett Finlay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Infection with Listeria monocytogenes induces the activation of mitogen- activated protein (MAP) kinase in several tissue culture cell lines (P. Tang, I. Rosenshine, and B. B. Finlay, Mol. Biol. Cell 5:455-464, 1994). After various mutants were examined, the bacterial factor responsible for MAP kinase activation was identified as listeriolysin O (LLO). Growth supernatant containing LLO or purified LLO alone can induce MAP kinase tyrosine phosphorylation in HeLa cells. Single-amino-acid mutations in LLO that do not affect its membrane binding capacity but reduce its cytolytic activity also reduced its ability to induce MAP kinase activity in HeLa cells. Streptolysin O, another sulfhydryl-activated hemolysin, and the detergent saponin are also able to activate MAP kinase in target cells. Thus, the increased MAP kinase activity observed in L. monocytogenes-infected cells is most likely a result of the permeabilization of the host cell membrane by LLO and may not be linked with invasion.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2359-2361
Number of pages3
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996


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